All Pokemon, to some degree, are inspired by the natural world. They come in all shapes and sizes and have pulled on people’s heartstrings across generations. Our love and intrigue for animals may be linked to our fondness for our Poke friends. Elephant Pokemon is a prime example of Game Freaks taking inspiration from the animal kingdom.
As a frequent visitor of aquariums and zoos, I’m the perfect Pokemon fanatic to compile a guide on all the different kinds of Elephant Pokemon that can be found in the wild of the many regions of the Pokemon world.
As a long-time fan of the games, I’ve noticed that Game Freak repeat the use of certain animals for their inspiration. This makes sense as in the natural world, there are many species of animals that can be classified into families. Creating this guide, I realized that there is a limited amount of elephant Pokemon to catch, and we are due some more elephant-inspired designs.
Without further ado, here is a list of every elephant Pokemon for you to plan your fantasy safari park.
What is an Elephant Pokemon?
|Africa Elephant (Calf)
|Sri Lankan Elephant
An elephant Pokemon is a pokemon that includes features of an elephant such as tusks, large legs, flat-footed hooves, and of course, a trunk. Piloswine was considered for the list. However, the Pokemon resembles a pig or boar due to its pig-like nose and short legs.
Drowzee was also considered for the list for its elongated snout resembling a short trunk. However, I concluded that Drowzee is inspired by tapirs more than elephants, as its snout and facial structure are very similar to that of a tapir. These animals resemble pigs and are closely related to horses and rhinoceroses. Furthermore, Drowzee has small ears relative to its head and has two toes on its hooves, a feature found in pigs.
While I did not categorize Piloswine as an elephant, I included its evolution Mamoswine to the list. It highly resembles a Wooly Mammoth with its thick fur, large legs, and feet to distribute its weight, as well as gigantic tusks.
Mamoswine could also be classified as a wild boar due to its nose and tusks. Game Freak created this Pokemon by combining both boars and mammoths together.
Gen 2 Elephant Pokemon – Gold, Silver, and Crystal
Elephant Pokemon was first introduced in generation two of the series. Gold, Silver, and Crystal are set within the Johto region, a region heavily inspired by the Kansai region of Japan that contains Kyoto city. While elephants are not indigenous to Japan, you can find them in Johto.
Generation two is one of my favorite generations of Pokemon. Everything from the music to the Pokemon designs is stellar.
Gen two introduced the cute and loveable Phanpy, one of my all-time favorite Pokemon. It’s by far the cutest, in my opinion. Gen two also introduced the extremely cool and hard-hitting Donphan. Pokemon Silver was my first gen two experience where I first encountered Phanpy, and as a result, I always added this little Pokemon to my team.
- Type – Ground
- Elephant – African (Calf)
- Abilities – Pickup, Sand Veil
- Evolves from – N/A
- Evolves into – Donphan
When you think of elephants in Pokemon, you immediately think of Phanpy for a good reason. It’s arguably the most iconic elephant Pokemon in the series. Its cute trunk and lofty ears will steal your heart like it did mine. Phanpy may not be the hardest-hitting Pokemon or the fastest.
However, it still is an excellent option for lower-level battles and is a brilliant companion to bring along with you on your single-player adventure. Note that Phanpy is only obtainable later in the game when most gym leaders have been defeated.
This is unfortunate because Phanpy could provide great utility in battle with Sandstorms if it was available earlier in the game.
Phanpy is a small blue elephant-like Pokemon with red accents on its snout and ears. Its ears are massive compared to the rest of its compact body. I believe that Phanpy is inspired by an African Elephant calf. This is due to its resemblance and playful nature, often seen in elephant calves.
Furthermore, it is explained that Phanpy can usually be found at the edge of water holes covering themselves with mud and water to protect their skin from sunburn. African elephants also have the biggest ears of all elephants, a trait that Phanpy shares.
Phanpy is described in the Pokedex as very playful. It will thrash its snout around and charge while playing. While Phanpy has a gentle heart and loves to play, it can’t help but cause damage to its surroundings when getting excited.
The FireRed Pokedex explains that Phanpy is very caring and will show affection by bumping its trainer with its snout, sending the trainer flying. The Pokedex further explains that Phanpy is strong enough to carry adult-sized humans on its back despite only reaching 0.5 m in height. However, we are yet to ride Phanpy as a mount in any Pokemon game.
- Johto – Phanpy can be found at Route 45 in Johto. Note that Phanpy was only available to capture in Pokemon Silver and Crystal, meaning that Phanpy is only obtainable on Gold through trading. This would later be swapped around in the gen two remasters, Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver.
- Hoen – Phanpy can be encountered in the Safari Zone in Pokemon Ruby, Saphire, and Emerald.
- Kanto – Because Phanpy is a gen two Pokemon, it can only be caught in Kanto on the FireRed and LeafGreen versions.
- Sinnoh – Phanpy can be found at Route 207 in Pokemon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum and can be later found at Rocky Cave and Big Bluff Cavern in Pokemon Shining Pearl and Brilliant Diamond.
Phanpy Stats and Natures
Phanpy doesn’t have the greatest stats. It has weak Sp. Atk, Sp. Def, Spd, and its Def and Atk are not much better. However, it is rather robust with decent health stats allowing it to take a bunch of hits. I’d recommend using physical attacking rather than special moves, as Phanpy will deal a bit more damage to its opponent.
Unfortunately, Phanpy doesn’t get much attention in the competitive scene because of its low stats. It’s poor Sp. Def and Spd make it vulnerable to many Pokemon within the Little Cup tier.
Although his stats on the greatest, you can sacrifice Phanpy’s speed to raise its attack with a Brave-natured Phanpy and equip it with a Life Orb to cause some severe damage to your opponent. I like this build as sacrificing a bit of speed doesn’t have an impact in battle as your opponent will most likely attack before you anyway. It’s fun to
- Pickup – Pick up items while walking around the Pokemon world. This is very useful in single-player farming items.
- Sand Veil is a hidden ability that raises Phanpy’s evasion in sandstorms. As well as makes it immune to sandstorm damage. This is a brilliant ability that helps Phanpy bypass its slow speed.
Best Phanpy Moves
Phanpy’s moves learned from leveling reflect its bashful and playful nature, as it can learn Slam, Take Down, and Double-Edge. While these are high damaging moves, they can leave Phanpy hurt and significantly lower its time in battle. Therefore, if you run these moves on Phanpy, choose one.
While Phanpy may be reckless and be inflicted by a lot of recoils, it can be taught powerful moves such as:
- Iron Tail
- Rock Slide
- Stealth Rock
- Type – Ground
- Elephant – African
- Abilities – Sturdy, Sand Veil
- Evolves from – Phanpy
- Evolves into – N/A
Donphan is the evolved form of Phanpy and brings a lot more to the table in power and defense. Phanpy’s floppy ears are now transformed to have slender points, which appear to have hardened. Its trunk has grown to span from its back to dangle in front of its face for protection.
The trunk resembles that of a tire. Donphan uses its trunk to roll into a ball. It’s stated in the Pokedex that once it starts rolling at high speeds, it cannot be stopped. While Donphan isn’t the most powerful elephant Pokemon, it’s iconic and can cause havoc in battle. I chalk this up to those sharp tusks!
Donphan is always present in my team when playing gen two. Its excellent design and hard-hitting physical attacks allowed me to sweep Lt. Surge, the ninth gym leader in the game at Vermillion City. Donphan is an excellent choice to bring with you to the Indigo League.
Donphan’s powerful Earthquake can devastate Koga, the poison-specialized Elite Four member, and make short work of Karen’s Gengar and Houndoom. However, in gen two, Donphan’s move pool is limited to Normal-type moves and a few Ground-type moves. Although Donphan can learn Ancient Power via hatching a Phanpy to receive it as an egg move.
How to Obtain Donphan
One of the issues I have with Donphan is that it is only obtainable later on in Pokemon Silver and Crystal. As Donphan would make a great companion throughout the story. However, while you may not be able to progress through the entire story with Donphan, you will be able to for the post-game story traveling to the Kanto region.
- Johto – Donphan is only obtainable later in Pokemon Silver and Crystal after reaching Blackthorn City, meaning you won’t be able to use them on your team for early parts of the game unless you trade for them. Donphan can be caught later on at Mt. Silver, Victory Road, and Route 45 in Kanto.
- Hoen – Donphan can be caught in the safari zone in Omega Ruby and Sapphire.
For other games in the series, you must evolve Phanpy to acquire Donphan.
Donphan Stats and Natures
Despite being described as a fast Pokemon in the Pokedex, its speed stats tell a different story. Launching attacks in-game is slow, and your opponent will almost always attack first. However, its rugged and tough hide represents its fantastic defense and great health stats.
Donphan won’t care too much about being attacked physically. Your opponent can bypass Donphan’s strong physical defense by attacking with a special attack as Donphan has a weak Sp. Def.
I recommend that you raise a Donphan with an Adamant nature as this nature will increase its attack and lower its Sp, Atk stat. This is a good trade as I tend to equip Donphan with physical attack moves rather than special attack moves due to its already low special attack stats. Alternatively, I’ve found that Donphan’s with the Impish Nature is a viable option as this nature increases physical defense and lowers Sp. Atk, this is great for defensive builds.
- Sturdy – saves Donphan from OHKOs by leaving it on one HP. Sturdy only activates if Donphan has full HP before the opponent’s attack. This is an excellent ability for Donphan as it allows Donphan to survive powerful super, effective special attacks. However, don’t expect to survive the next round of battle. While this provides little utility to Donphan, it has allowed me to strike back, knocking my opponent out. It also makes a move Counter a viable option, as landing a Counter after surviving an OHKO will deal severe damage.
- Sand Veil – Increases evasive stats and grants immunity while in Sandstorms.
Donphan’s Best Moves
Donphan doesn’t get that much attention in the competitive scene due to its underwhelming move pool and slow speed. However, Donphan has had a significant facelift over the years, and hopefully, I can change your opinion of this incredible and short-tempered elephant Pokemon.
Donphan made its debut in gen two with a disappointing move pool, only being able to learn Earthquake as a stab moves through leveling. Now Donphan has a much-needed upgrade to its move pool.
However, if you are playing gen two for some nostalgia, I recommend you breed Donphan as you can acquire some powerful egg moves for Phanpy and Donphan. Such as Ancient Power and Body Slam. You can also acquire Double-Edge, a powerful physical attack, by leveling Phanpy to level 49 and then evolving Donphan.
Gen 4 Elephant Pokemon – Diamond, Pearl, Platinum
- Type – Ice/Ground
- Elephant – Wooly Mammoth
- Abilities – Thick Fat, Oblivious, Snow Cloak
- Evolves from – Piloswine
- Evolves into – N/A
Mamoswine is the evolved form of Piloswine and is a monster of a Pokemon that will leave any trainer quaking in their boots. Inspired by the gigantic and extinct Wooly Mammoth and Wild Boar, Mamoswine has the temperament to match.
Standing over eight feet tall and equipped with enormous tusks, it towers down on most Pokemon. Mamoswine has similar biology to Wooly Mammoths with its thick brown fur, large hooves, and tusks. However, Mamoswine lacks a trunk and has a short snout from its Wild Boar influences.
The Pokedex further provides evidence that Mamoswine is a Wooly Mammoth type creature as it explains that this species of Pokemon thrived during the Ice Age. Still, its population would decline as the planet grew warmer. The Pokedex further states that a frozen Mamoswine was unearthed dating back 10,000 years. This could be a general reference to various Wooly Mammoth remains discovered in Siberia.
Diamond and Pearl were one of my all-time favorite generations of Pokemon. The region of Sinnoh is my favorite with its snow-capped mountains, marshes, and vast, cold forests that make for a harsh and interesting habitat for Pokemon to live in.
Pokemon such as Mamoswine have adapted to live in this cold environment. Being an Ice/Ground-type Pokemon, Mamoswine features blue fur surrounding its eyes, resembling ski goggles. Its eyes appear to be set deep in its face showing off how dense and thick its coat is.
Mamoswine is a Pokemon that has joined me on many adventures in Pokemon Platinum and Pearl. Its powerful Ice-type moves make short work of Volkner, the gym leader of Sunyshore City and Electric-type specialist. As well as the Bug-type specialist Aaron and Ground-Type specialist Bertha of the Elite Four. Mamoswine can deal severe damage to Cynthia’s monstrous Garchomp if it can land a hit.
How to Obtain Mamoswine
To obtain Mamoswine, you must level up Piloswine, that has learned the Ancient Power move. You can pick this move up from the Move Relearner in Pastoria City or level your Piloswine.
This is a really interesting way to evolve a Pokemon, and it plays into that extinct Wooly Mammoth inspiration Game Freak had with this Pokemon. Before this, you will need to catch a Swinub or Piloswine.
- Sinnoh – Swinub and Piloswine can be found on Route 217 South of SnowPoint City. As well as Acuity Lakefront in Pokemon Platinum. Swinub can also be found in the Grand Underground in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl.
Mamoswine Stats and Natures
I’ve always been very fond of Mamoswine as it brought a much-needed update to the Swinub evolution line and popularised the little snow pig. Mamoswine is a powerful Pokemon to add to your team. It has great health and attack stats granting it powerful Ice and Ground-type stab moves that will destroy your opponent.
Before gen VIII, Mamoswine had to rely on Ice Shard as its only physical Ice attack. However, special attacks were still viable with Mamoswine as Blizzard would OHKO my opponents on occasion and was lethal when battling the Elite Four.
An Adamant Nature Mamoswine works well in combat by increasing its attack and lowering its Sp. Atk is a stat that I don’t use for this Pokemon. Although I prefer a Jolly Nature Mamoswine as it sacrifices Sp. Atk to increase its speed, this gives Mamoswine just enough of a boost in the battle to attack first against some opponents. Furthermore, I like having a jolly and happy Wooly Mammoth as a pet!
- Thick Fat – Mamoswine receives 50% less damage from Ice and Fire-type moves.
- Oblivious – Mamoswine cannot be affected by Taunt, Attract, or intimidated.
- Snow Cloak – Increased evasion while it’s hailing.
Mamoswine’s Best Moves
Mamoswine hits like a truck with physical type moves; therefore, I recommend that you consider powerful stab moves such as Earthquake, Stone Edge, Stomping Tantrum, Ice Fang, and Icicle Crash. Mamoswine is still capable of inflicting heavy damage with special moves such as Blizzard and Ice Beam, so do consider using these.
Gen 8 Elephant Pokemon – Sword and Shield
- Type – Steel
- Elephant – Indian
- Abilities – Sheer Force, Heavy Metal
- Evolves from – N/A
- Evolves into – Copperajah
Cufant features an orange and green coat with a long trunk that resembles a small spade. The bump on top of its head has small ears compared to its body, both features in Indian elephants.
It’s explained in the Pokedex that Cufant’s body discolors in the rain to turn green. This is due to the copper that is within its body. This provides evidence that Cufant is an Indian elephant as India has an abundant supply of copper.
Furthermore, Sword and Shield are set in the Galar region, a region inspired by the United Kingdom, and in history, the British Empire would use Indian elephants for labor.
Interestingly Indian elephants were mentioned in Gastly’s and Raichu’s FireRed Pokedex entry. For years, Pokemon fans were confused by this as Phanpy and Donphan were the only elephant Pokemon in the game, but they weren’t Indian elephants. However, this years-old mystery would be solved with the release of Pokemon Sword and Shield with the introduction to Cufant.
How to Obtain Cufant
- Cufant is only available in Pokemon Sword and Shield and can be found in Bridge Field, Dusty Bowl, and Giant’s Seat. Encountering Cufant is rare, with only a 1% chance of encountering it in normal weather and a 10% chance in snowy and cold temperatures.
Cufant Stats and Natures
Cufant has polarising stats with relatively high health and attack, but abysmal defense, Sp. Atk, Sp. Def, and speed. You won’t be attacking first anytime soon in battle. Thankfully Cufant is capable of taking a few hits due to its decent. However, don’t expect to withstand a Fire-type move.
Like Phanpy and Donphan, you will want to specialize Cufant in physical attacks rather than special attacks due to its stats. I typically run Cufant with an Impish Nature to increase its defense at the cost of lowering its Sp. Atk. As this compliments Cufant’s relatively high health, allowing my Cufant to stay in battle for longer.
However, a Brave Nature Cufant is viable as you Cufant is already a very slow Pokemon making a trade for increased attack and cut to speed another good option.
- Sheer Force – Increases the power of attacks by 30% for moves that have secondary effects; however, these effects are now ignored.
- Heavy Metal – Doubles the Pokemon’s weight.
Cufant’s Best Move
I discovered Iron Head is Cufant’s best move since its attack power is increased from Sheer Force and being a stab move. The strength of Iron head can further be improved through the use of a Life Orb. Although I prefer a Choice Band since it increases attack power by 50% at the cost of locking in the move instead of damage recoil.
- Type – Steel
- Elephant – Sri Lankan
- Abilities – Sheer Force, Heavy Metal
- Evolves From – Cufant
- Evolves into – N/A
Copperajah is the evolved form of Cufant and is a gigantic Pokemon with a colossal trunk resembling an excavator. Its body is now almost entirely green with some patches of orange. Its back is rectangular, possibly referencing war elephants of the past.
I concluded that Copperajah is inspired by a Sri Lankan elephant, a subspecies of the Asian elephant. This is because the Sri Lankan elephant shares many features with the Indian elephant but is much more prominent in size. I’m a massive fan of Copperajah’s design.
It looks intense and intimidating but also ornate and peaceful looking, and I think Game Freak did a great job blending elements of Indian elephants into the design.
Its shiny form is arguably the best-looking shiny elephant Pokemon on the list, and I’m biased for my love of this Pokemon. Its lighter-colored tint makes it appear as though it’s shining or glowing. Suppose I haven’t won you over yet. In that case, Copperajah is capable of dealing immense damage to its opponents and is the first elephant Pokemon to be able to feature a Gigantimax form.
How to Obtain Copperajah
You can only obtain Copperajah in Pokemon Sword and Shield by either evolving Cufant at level 34 or catching it at Lake Outrage, Hammerlocke Hills, and Giant’s Foot.
Copperajah Stats and Natures
Copperajah has excellent health and attack stats, making it formidable in battle. However, it is vulnerable in its sub-par special and physical defenses. Copperajah is a powerhouse physical attacker. All that size and steel comes at a price. Copperajah has terrible speed. Thereby your opponent will most likely always move before you. Therefore I suggest using a Brave Nature Copperajah as this raises its physical attack while lowering its speed.
- Sheer Force – Increases attack power by 30% to moves with secondary effects but ignores the effect.
- Heavy Metal – Doubles the weight of the Pokemon.
Copperajah’s Best Moves
Like Cufant, Iron Head is one of the best moves to run on Copperajah due to its Sheer Force ability. Heavy Slam and Heat Crash damage depends on the user’s and opponent’s weight. Therefore, Copperajah can inflict consequential damage from the Heavy Metal ability, and it’s already heavyweight. Copperajah’s Sp. Atk is high enough to run Flash Cannon as it inflicts more damage by being a stab move.
Question: In Which Episode Does Ash Obtain Phanpy?
Answer: Ash obtains Phanpy by hatching a Pokemon Egg in season 5, episode 21, “Hatching a Plan.” Phanpy stars in Ash’s team for 198 episodes until it evolves into Donphan in season 9, episode 9, “Reversing the Charges!”. Phanpy is the first Pokemon that Ash hatches from an egg.
Question: What is the Slowest Pokemon in the Game?
Answer: Slowpoke is the original slowest Pokemon introduced in Pokemon Red and Blue with 15 points in speed. However, Shuckle, Pyukumuku, and, Munchlax are the slowest Pokemon in the game, with a measly 5 points in their speed stats. Shuckle has an incredible 230 points in defense and Sp. Def. Although Pyukumuku is more viable in battle as it has 130 points in both defense and Sp. Def and has 60 points in attack.
Question: How do you Counter Heavy Pokemon?
Answer: You can counter heavy Pokemon using Grass Knot, Heavy Slam, Heat Crash, and Low Kick, as these moves inflict damage based upon the target’s weight. You can lower your Pokemon’s weight by equipping it with a Float Stone.
In conclusion elephant, and Pokemon have low Sp. Atk and speed, but for what they lack in speed and special attacks, they make up for heavy-hitting physical attacks. Elephant Pokemon come in various sizes, from the small and compact Phanpy and Cufant to the Ginormous Copperajah and Mamoswine.
However, there is only a limited number of elephant-inspired Pokemon. I believe elephant Pokemon have tremendous potential, and Game Freak has missed an opportunity here. As there are lots of type combinations that could be used to create some cool Pokemon.
It was an absolute blast learning how to set up Cufant and Copperajah, and I believe some trainers may be scared off from using Cufant due to its contrasting stats. However, capitalizing on Sheer Force and the Heavy Metal ability lets Cufant and Copperajah shine their shiny metallic trunks to deal crazy damage.