If not Eevee, then who?
I have always had a soft spot for Eevee. It started when I was a kid watching the Pokémon anime on Cartoon Network. Episode 40 was called “The Battling Eevee Brothers,” and it has stuck with me for two decades. In the episode, Mike was being pressured by his three older brothers to evolve his Eevee the way that they evolved theirs. Each brother had a ridiculous hairstyle that matched some of the simultaneously cutest and coolest Pokémon I had seen: Vaporeon, Jolteon, and Flareon. In the end, Mike chose to not evolve his precious companion, and we all understood.
But you can make a different choice than Mike. In fact, you have way more options than he did during that episode. There are currently eight different evolutions of Eevee, colloquially called Eeveelutions. While playing the games, you can catch them all. We even have a guide on how to catch Leafeon and Glaceon in Pokémon GO. However, I find myself wanting to choose a signature Pokémon. Ash had Pikachu, and Brock had Vulpix. I want an Eeveelution to hang out and go to battle with. If you’re in the same boat, let’s explore the different Eeveelutions based on a mix of design and battle prowess. Who do you want at your side?
Sylveon’s main thing is that it’s cute, but I honestly don’t think it is. Certainly not as cute as most of the other Eeveelutions. This Fairy-type Eevee has a Cute Charm ability, which may cause its attackers to fall for it and its soothing “feelers” disguised as ribbons. The ribbons, “feelers,” are a bit offputting though. Sylveon can be a useful team member when it comes to healing, but I think I would be a little embarrassed walking around with this one following me.
Spikey Jolteon is so cute! Like most Electric-type Pokémon, it has decent Speed and Special Attack stats, so it can strike first most of the time. When facing off against another Electric-type, Jolteon can use its Volt Absorb ability to absorb an Electric-type move and restore its own HP. Sadly, there are plenty of stronger Pokémon in this category, and as far as design goes, Jolteon seems a little hazardous to have around. It can launch clumps of its own electrified fur, and that’s some disconcerting Tarantula nonsense.
Glaceon is the Ice-type Eeveelution. While design-wise, I love its blue-green color and adorable bangs, the battle stats are too hard to ignore for this one. Its Special Attack stat is really good, but its HP and Speed are so low, what’s the point? I do love Ice-type Pokémon though. I can move past yet another Eeveelution that throws its hair because I love the icy flurries it can create. However, it’s not a great look to have a Signature Pokémon who faints all the time.
Flareon is the Fire-type Eeveelution. It looks the closest to Eevee compared to the rest of them due to its fluffy collar and tail. While small and fiercely cute, it can exhale extremely hot fire like a dragon. Unfortunately, picking Flareon for more than its appearance doesn’t make sense. Its stats aren’t terrible by any means, but there are much stronger Fire-types to choose instead. Still, I would not be embarrassed at all to be associated with a fluffy, firebreathing fox.
Leafeon is one of the cutest Eeveelutions in my opinion. It could just be my tendency to like Grass-types, but I love the leafy ears and tail. As far as design goes, this Pokémon is a huge win. When it comes to the battling part, Leafeon has a high Defense and Attack, but its HP and Speed are still low. It also has a lot of weaknesses as a Grass-type. It has a niche on the team, but it doesn’t stand out among other Pokémon of the same type. It may not be my number one choice, but I would still love to have this little thing following me around.
Psychic-type Pokémon tend to look a little mysterious, and Espeon fits the bill. Its forked tail and fine hairs help it predict its opponent’s next move. Despite looking like a delicate cat, Espeon is one of the stronger Eeveelutions by far. Its Special Attack stat and Speed allow it to strike first and strike hard. It’s only weak against Ghost, Dark, and Bug-types, and its Synchronize ability comes in handy. Whenever it is burned, poisoned, or paralyzed, its attacker gains the same status. I like the idea of creeping other people out with this little thing sitting on my shoulder too.
Umbreon is just too strong to ignore. This Dark-type Pokémon may be slow, but it has good Defense, Special Defense, and HP. Umbreon is one of the few Eeveelutions that is strong in its type too, so it makes sense to add to your team. As far as design goes, it has an interesting look. Black with some yellow circles and sharp points on the ears and tail, Umbreon looks a little like an inverted bee. With this thing trotting by my side, I would manage to look kind of cool at least. Just not nearly as cool as Umbreon.
Vaporeon has had my heart since I was a kid. This Water-type Pokémon is flawlessly designed. This is a mermaid fox, and I want it. The flared collar, the fish-fin ears, the black eyes, and the tail are all spot-on without being too much. It still manages to look sleek and classy. While Vaporeon may no longer be the strongest Eeveelution, nor is it the strongest Water-type out there, it is still a great addition to the team. As a Water-type it has great HP and is only weak to Electric and Grass-types. It can turn invisible as it swims in the water, and the Water Absorb ability lets it recover its HP when hit with Water-type attacks. If you can’t snag a Gyarados or similar, Vaporeon is a good substitute.
In the end, we can pick whichever Eeveelution we want. Most signature Pokémon aren’t necessarily the strongest. They just mean something to the trainer. If you want to see more cute Pokémon, including where we ranked Eevee, check out our list of the top 10 cutest Pokémon of all time.