A Nuzlocker’s Guide to Vaporeon

Written by Reddit user u/Samurott1

Vaporeon is one of the three evolutions of Eevee, which are often referred to as “Eeveelutions.” As there is only one Eevee in the game, there is some opportunity cost that comes with choosing Vaporeon over Jolteon and Flareon, it’s unlikely that you’ll regret choosing the Bubble Jet Pokémon. The likes of Blastoise and Lapras give Vaporeon stiff competition as a bulky Water-type, but the Bubble Jet Pokémon has a fair amount of positive traits that set it apart from the pack. It boasts an HP stat that ties it with Lapras, which is pretty impressive. Vaporeon also has a base Special Attack that towers over that of its competitors, which allows it to dish out damage more effectively. Pure Water-type is also excellent defensive typing, giving the Bubble Jet Pokémon just two rare weaknesses and a useful resistance to Ice- and Fire-type moves. As for weaknesses, Vaporeon will have passed the level where it learns Water Gun when you evolve it, so you’ll have to teach it Water Pulse or wait for Surf. That about sums up the weaknesses though. Overall, Vaporeon is an excellent choice of Water-type and a fantastic addition to almost any team.


Eevee: Celadon City (gift)

Vaporeon’s Match-ups in Important Battles

Vaporeon versus Rival in Pokémon Tower: Your rival will lead with Pidgeotto, who will fall to a single Ice Beam if you have it (which you should). Ice Beam will also finish Exeggcute, who lacks a Grass-type move. Get used to hearing this: Growlithe is a joke to Vaporeon. If you taught Water Pulse to Vaporeon, Growlithe will fall easily. Gyarados will hit hard with Thrash (it’s a 4HKO), and Vaporeon can only 4HKO in return with Ice Beam. This match-up is risky but doable with healing items. Kadabra’s Confusion will glance off of Vaporeon, so 2HKO the Psi Pokémon with Ice Beam. Charmeleon is another easy match-up for Vaporeon, who decimates the Flame Pokémon with Water Pulse. Vaporeon can out-stall Wartortle if you want to go that route; Vaporeon’s Water Pulse does more damage to Wartortle than the Turtle Pokémon can do in return. The Bubble Jet Pokémon can 2HKO Ivysaur with Ice Beam, and Ivysaur can only take two-thirds of Vaporeon’s health with a critical hit Razor Leaf. All in all, Vaporeon can solo this entire battle provided you keep it healthy throughout the match. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 25; Sand Attack, Quick Attack, Water Pulse, Ice Beam.

Vaporeon versus Giovanni in the Celadon Game Corner: Giovanni has two slow Rock- and Ground-types, both of which will fall easily to Vaporeon’s Water Pulse. However, Kangaskhan hits too hard for the Bubble Jet Pokémon to stand much of a chance. It’s faster and its Mega Punch is a 3HKO on Vaporeon. Just decimate the Rock-types with Water Pulse and get out of there. Alternatively, you could hit Kangaskhan with Sand Attack and then run as a healthy Vaporeon can tank a critical hit Mega Punch. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 27; Sand Attack, Quick Attack, Water Pulse, Ice Beam.

Vaporeon versus Erika in Celadon City Gym: At first glance, it seems like a terrible idea to use Vaporeon, a Water-type Pokémon, in this gym. However, the Bubble Jet Pokémon can be of some use here if it has Ice Beam. On the other hand, Vaporeon likely can’t take out more than one of Erika’s Pokémon and you likely have a Flying- or Fire-type that can sweep Erika. Vaporeon can 2HKO Victreebel with Ice Beam, but this is a risk as the (likely) faster Victreebel’s Giga Drain will 3HKO in return. As Victreebel will also regain health from this move, it’s best to leave this to a more appropriate counter. Vaporeon can handle Tangela with ease though; the Bubble Jet Pokémon is faster and can OHKO with Ice Beam. Tangela will likely go for Ingrain the first turn, and its Giga Drain is weaker than  Victreebel’s anyway. Vileplume shouldn’t be fought by the Bubble Jet Pokémon; it’s in a similar Victreebel situation. While Vaporeon can easily overpower Tangela, it will have to switch in after Victreebel is down and then leave when Vileplume enters the match. As such, it would be preferable to leave Vaporeon on the bench. The Bubble Jet Pokémon can be of some use if you get in a pinch, though. Note that if Vaporeon lacks Ice Beam, it should not try to fight in this battle under any circumstance. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 29; Sand Attack, Quick Attack, Water Pulse, Ice Beam.

Vaporeon versus Koga in Fuchsia City Gym: Vaporeon can OHKO both of the Koffing with Surf if you have nothing better for them. The Bubble Jet Pokémon can also tank a Selfdestruct as long as it doesn’t land critically. However, Muk, who will likely come out after the first Koffin, will fall in three hits. Muk can also annoy you with Minimize and Toxic, not to mention the fact that its Sludge hits almost as hard as Vaporeon’s Surf. Use something else if possible. If you don’t have anything better, then stock up on healing items and X Accuracies if you can. Weezing will fall to a pair of Surf attacks, but be wary of Smokescreen and Toxic. Note that a critical hit Sludge from Weezing will take about two-thirds of Vaporeon’s health at the most. Be careful here. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 38; Sand Attack/Quick Attack, Ice Beam, Bite, Surf.

Vaporeon versus Fighting Dojo in Saffron City: Against Hitmonlee, Vaporeon doesn’t have a very favorable match-up. Hitmonlee is faster and can 3HKO with High Jump Kick. Vaporeon may 2HKO in return, but it’s not guaranteed and Hitmonlee could land a critical hit. On the other hand, Vaporeon can handle Hitmonchan, who is closer to Vaporeon’s Speed tier and its Thunder Punch is a joke. Sky Uppercut won’t do as much damage as High Jump Kick either, though it still may 3HKO. A more appropriate counter is preferred. If you do plan to use Vaporeon here, bring healing items. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 38; Sand Attack/Quick Attack, Ice Beam, Bite, Surf.

Vaporeon versus Rival in Silph Co.: Vaporeon’s Ice Beam will make short work of Pidgeot, who isn’t much of a threat to the Bubble Jet Pokémon. Alakazam does have Calm Mind, but, as its only attacking move is Future Sight, Vaporeon can take down the Psi Pokémon with Surf. Exeggcute is also having a moveset malfunction, as it lacks a way to hurt the Bubble Jet Pokémon. Decimate it with Ice Beam. Similarly, Growlithe will be dispatched by a Surf. Teach Vaporeon Toxic and Protect, which allows it to stall out Gyarados pretty easily. That same strategy works for Blastoise, whose best move is Bite. The Bubble Jet Pokémon can also finish Charizard with Surf, but you should stay away from Venusaur. Vaporeon is bulky, but a critical Razor Leaf hurts. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 40; Ice Beam, Surf, Protect, Toxic.

Vaporeon versus Giovanni in Silph Co.: Vaporeon will make short work of Nidorino and Rhyhorn. The Bubble Jet can handle Kangaskhan this time around; Surf is a 2HKO and the Parent Pokémon can only 4HKO in return. Vaporeon can handle Nidoqueen as well, just be careful if Vaporeon is at low health as a critical hit Body Slam will take about half of the Bubble Jet Pokémon’s health. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 40; Ice Beam, Surf, Protect, Toxic.

Vaporeon versus Sabrina in Saffron City Gym: Vaporeon isn’t a great Pokémon to use here, as three out of the four Pokémon you’ll face are packing Calm Mind. While Vaporeon does have a Dark-type move, STAB Surf hits harder and the move’s flinch chance isn’t helpful against Sabrina’s speedy team. Toxic stalling won’t be too helpful either, as Sabrina has healing items and Alakazam is packing Recover. Toxic will only put a damper on Alakazam’s sweep as opposed to putting a timer on it. However, the Bubble Jet Pokémon can still put in some work thanks to its bulk. Regardless of Calm Mind boosts, Vaporeon can finish Kadabra with two hits of Surf. However, Mr. Mime has much higher Special Defense as well as Calm Mind and Baton Pass. Mr. Mime, like Kadabra, is faster than the Bubble Jet Pokémon and can set up with Calm Mind before it gets hit by Surf. You’ll want a powerful physical attacker to handle Mr. Mime provided Reflect isn’t up. As for Venomoth, the worst it can do is confuse Vaporeon, who can 2HKO in return with Surf. However, Alakazam is near-impossible for Vaporeon to take out; you’ll want a powerful physical attacker. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 43; Ice Beam, Surf, Protect, Toxic.

Vaporeon versus Blaine in Cinnabar Island Gym: Vaporeon will outright OHKO every Pokémon in this gym except for Blaine’s Arcanine, who requires an extra hit. Rapidash may be annoying with Stomp and Bounce, but it’s nothing that healing items or a little bit of luck can’t solve. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 45; Ice Beam, Surf, Protect, Toxic.

Vaporeon versus Giovanni in Viridian City Gym: Another gym where Vaporeon dominates. Both of Giovanni’s Rhyhorn will fall to Surf in one hit. Dugtrio is fast, but it’s also frail. The only Pokémon that may not be finished by Surf is Nidoqueen, but that’s a big “if” and it doesn’t hit too hard with Earthquake anyway. Bring healing items if you can, but note that you probably won’t need them. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 47; Ice Beam, Surf, Protect, Toxic.

Vaporeon versus Rival in Route 22: Pidgeot still fails to be threatening, as does Exeggcute and Growlithe. Gyarados is just as easy to stall out with Toxic as it was in Silph Co. It does have Hydro Pump now, which will glance off of Vaporeon. Your Rival has a Rhyhorn now, which isn’t that threatening. It does have Horn Drill, so be wary of switching Vaporeon in on it. On the other hand, Alakazam has Calm Mind and Psychic now. As such, leave it to a strong physical attacker. Vaporeon can put it on a timer with Toxic, though. Vaporeon can handle Charizard and Blastoise with Surf and Toxic stalling, respectively. Don’t try to fight Venusaur, though; your Rival’s starter is already overleveled and this one is a Grass-type. Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 48; Ice Beam, Surf, Protect, Toxic.

Vaporeon versus the Elite 4: Recommended Level and Moveset: Level 58; Ice Beam, Surf, Protect/Rest, Toxic.

Vaporeon versus Lorelei: Thanks to Toxic and Protect, Vaporeon can be rather helpful here. Otherwise, Vaporeon wouldn’t be able to do much. The Bubble Jet Pokémon can Toxic stall with relative ease as the only moves that can hit it neutrally are Lapras’ Body Slam and Jynx’s Double Slap. Note that Lorelei can use Full Restores, but this is more a setback than a legitimate problem (provided you can heal too; otherwise, Vaporeon might get worn down if it lacks Rest). Lorelei leads with Dewgong, who poses a threat to Vaporeon’s Toxic stall plan with its Safeguard. However, the Bubble Jet Pokémon is probably faster anyway, and Safeguard can’t protect a Dewgong that’s already poisoned. Dewgong’s Ice Beam does a pitiful amount of damage in return. Vaporeon straight up walls Cloyster; the Bubble Jet Pokémon is immune to Cloyster’s only direct attack. It doesn’t need to be hit with Toxic since Vaporeon can just 2HKO the Bivalve Pokémon with Surf. Jynx is also 2HKOed by Vaporeon’s Surf. Slowbro can be annoying with Yawn and Amnesia, so you’ll need to stall it out with Toxic. Lapras is the only Pokémon that completely walls Vaporeon; it takes little from Ice Beam and has Water Absorb as its ability. It can be stalled out with Toxic, but beware of Confuse Ray. Note that a Vaporeon lacking Rest will almost certainly need to be healed if you expect it to solo Lorelei.

Vaporeon versus Bruno: The Onix that Bruno leads with is easily destroyed by a single Surf. The Onix that comes out later in the match will go the same way. The Bubble Jet Pokémon fares better against Bruno’s next two Fighting-types than it did against the same Pokémon back in Saffron. Hitmonchan can 3-4HKO with Sky Uppercut, but Vaporeon can 2HKO in return with Surf. Vaporeon may be faster, too. Hitmonlee will do less damage than Hitmonchan, as Bruno’s, as opposed to the Karate Master’s, lacks High Jump Kick. However, they do enough damage that Vaporeon can likely only face one or the other. As for Machamp, it’s best to keep Vaporeon away. Machamp’s Cross Chop can 2HKO, and it has a high critical hit ratio. Do not use Toxic on Machamp under any circumstance; it has Guts.

Vaporeon versus Agatha: Vaporeon can 2HKO Agatha’s leading Gengar with Surf, but it has a whole myriad of tricks up its sleeve. It will likely use Double Team on the first turn, then continue to increase its evasiveness or badly poison/confuse the Bubble Jet Pokémon. Whether Vaporeon can come out on top is purely up to luck. It won’t take much from Shadow Punch though, so it can only be hurt by Toxic damage or by hitting itself. Golbat will probably try to flinch or confuse Vaporeon. It will fall to an Ice Beam or two, though. Similarly, Vaporeon can 2HKO Arbok with Surf, but you must beware of Sludge Bomb, which can 3HKO. Haunter and the second Gengar will both try to put Vaporeon to sleep, so keep the Poké Flute handy. The former has Dream Eater and the latter can use Nightmare, and the Bubble Jet Pokémon would rather avoid those. Haunter is a pushover (although it may use Curse, forcing a switch) and Gengar is 2HKOed by Surf. Gengar’s Sludge Bomb is a 4HKO on Vaporeon, so keep that in mind.

Vaporeon versus Lance: Thanks to Ice Beam and its bulk, Vaporeon performs great against Lance. Gyarados is the only Pokémon that Vaporeon can’t hit with super-effective damage, but Toxic and protect patches that up. Hyper Beam is a threat, and it has a chance to OHKO with a critical hit, but that’s why you should use Protect in conjunction with Toxic. After Gyarados is done, Aerodactyl is likely out next. It won’t last long; Aerodactyl’s Hyper Beam will never OHKO Vaporeon from full HP even with a critical hit (unless your Vaporeon has horrendous Defense). The Bubble Jet Pokémon can OHKO in return with Surf. You have Ice Beam, so you know what happens next. Both Lance’s first and second Dragonair will fall to an Ice Beam. Dragonite will probably go for Safeguard first and is also obliterated by Ice Beam.

Vaporeon versus the Champion: Pidgeot will come out first, and it has some tricks up its sleeve this time around. Both Sand Attack and Whirlwind can ruin your day, but the Bird Pokémon is 2HKOed by Ice Beam. However, Pigdeot won’t be doing much direct damage to Vaporeon, so this is as favorable a match-up as it has been the entire game. Rhydon isn’t scary either; it will fall to one Surf and lacks Horn Drill this time around. On the other hand, Alakazam isn’t nearly as threatening this time around. It lacks Calm Mind, so feel free to 2HKO with Surf. Psychic is a 3-4HKO though, so keep that in mind. Exeggutor has historically been useless, but it carries Giga Drain now. Keep off the grass. Gyarados can be Toxic-stalled with healing items as its Thrash is a 3HKO. Tread lightly, though. Annihilate Arcanine with Surf, and Charizard falls the same way. Keep Vaporeon’s health above half, though. Vaporeon can wall Blastoise (bar Skull Bash, which will give you a warning and isn’t too strong anyway) and stall it out with Toxic. If you manage to predict a Hydro Pump and switch Vaporeon in on it, even better; Vaporeon’s Water Absorb will soak it up. Stay away from Venusaur though; it has a high critical hit ratio Grass-type move, making this a dicey match-up. Let a more appropriate counter handle both of the Champion’s Grass-types.

Everything in Between

Caves and Mountains: Vaporeon is great for caves, especially if it has Ice Beam for Zubat. The Seafoam Islands can be more difficult as it’s full of Water-types, but it’s nothing that Bite can’t take care of. (That is, if you still have. If you don’t, just use a Grass- or Electric-type Pokémon.)

Vermilion City Area: A Vaporeon here only needs to avoid the engineers on the route to the east of the city. It can only take on Diglett’s Cave if it has a Water-type move already. A stray Dugtrio won’t even be threatening as Vaporeon is at least level 25.

Mid- to Late-Game: If your Vaporeon has Bite, it’s excellent in the Pokémon Tower. Just spam Bite until you get to the top, then switch to Water Pulse for the Marowak. Vaporeon also needs Bite to be a help against Water-types on the routes south of Lavender Town. Snorlax hits too hard for the Bubble Jet Pokémon to handle it. Sand Attack can be useful if you both still have and want to rely on luck. You’ll need a tough physical attacker to break Snorlax. Cycling Road is dicey, but it’s not the worst choice if you have nothing better. Vaporeon can likely outspeed all Koffing and OHKO with Surf, but a critical hit Selfdestruct is the end of the Bubble Jet Pokémon. Weezing is even more dangerous; Vaporeon is faster, but won’t OHKO and a Selfdestruct is the end, even if it doesn’t land a critical hit. The Bubble Jet Pokémon can handle Pokémon Mansion pretty well if you are wary of wild Koffing. Stay away from the Power Plant, which is full of scary Electric-types. You’ll (hopefully) have something better for this area.

Checks and Counters

Electric-types: These Pokémon, while rare, can pose a threat to Vaporeon. The Bubble Jet Pokémon has Ice Beam for Grass-types, but nothing for Electric-types. As such, a Ground-type, like Golem or Sandslash, will be a great partner for Vaporeon. In return, Vaporeon can switch into Ice-type moves and win a stall battle with a Water-type with Toxic or Bite.

Strong Physical Attackers: Vaporeon is a great tank, but its weak physical Defense means that it will have trouble against strong physical attackers. Fortunately, Vaporeon has more than enough HP to take care of most of them. However, a few Pokémon, such as the Karate Master’s Hitmonlee and Bruno’s Machamp, have a ridiculous Attack stat and can deal a lot of damage to the Bubble Jet Pokémon. This is thankfully almost exclusive to these Fighting-types, so Psychic-types pair well with Vaporeon. Bulky Psychics like Hypno can tank Fighting-type attacks while powerful Psychics like Alakazam can finish these threats before they even attack. Whichever you go for, Vaporeon can serve as a better counter to Fire-, Ground-, and Rock-types than a Psychic-type would.

Overall Grade: S

Vaporeon is a fantastic choice of Water-type Pokémon, and it honestly has more competition than it does counters. While the likes of Lapras give it a lot of competition, Vaporeon’s exclusive strengths (like its higher Special Attack) make it a superb choice nonetheless. It also has the traits you’ll find on any great bulky Water-type: it counters Fire-types; it has a resistance to Ice-type moves, which is rather useful; its counters are far and few between, and Grass-types, in some cases, must fear Vaporeon thanks to the Bubble Jet Pokémon’s Ice Beam. All in all, Vaporeon, like a lot of bulky Water-types, makes an excellent addition to just about any team.

Resources to Utilize

Vaporeon’s Learnset: https://pokemondb.net/pokedex/vaporeon/moves/3

Written by Reddit user u/Samurott1. For questions about this guide or for specific advice for your playthrough, send them a message on Reddit.