In every Generation it’s been in, Gengar has always been one of the most fearsome Pokemon around.
Deciding on a moveset for it, however, is a huge dilemma in Pokemon Red and Blue. Sadly, there was no powerful Ghost-type move in Generation I. It was only in Generation II where Pokemon finally gave Gengar the long awaited gift of the move Shadow Ball.
Gengar also only learns three early-game moves: Lick, Confuse Ray, and Night Shade. At level 29, it learns Hypnosis, along with Dream Eater a bit later on. Either way, Gengar is still forced to run some ordinary moves or rely on a Hypnosis strategy. To really use Gengar well, these are the moves it needs:
Note: This article is subjective and reflects the opinion of the writer.
The best moveset for Gengar in Pokemon Red and Blue
Since Gengar learns so few moves naturally, it’s going to need technical machine support. Thankfully, with a couple extra moves added to its usual moveset, Gengar can still be a huge threat.
- -Confuse Ray
- -Night Shade
Seeing as Gengar has a colossal special stat (130), there is no reason not to capitalize on it. Thunderbolt is one of the best moves in the game, being able to reliably get large damage on many types of Pokemon. Thunderbolt also allows Gengar to hit Normal/Flying types that are usually immune to it, like Fearow and Pigeot.
Psychic is probably the best move on this set. In Pokemon Red and Blue, there are no Dark types. This means that there’s no downside to clicking this move unless the opponent has a Psychic-type Pokemon of their own. Being able to get neutral damage on the majority of the Pokemon in the game is a great asset for Gengar. The other great benefit of Psychic is that the technical machine for it is obtainable at Saffron City, which is conveniently right around Lavender Town where Gastly can be caught.
Confuse Ray won’t be great in every battle, but it will be valuable every now and then. Aside from being able to melt things with its attacks, Gengar also has great speed (110). Anyone in a sticky situation can easily get a Confuse Ray off before the opponent can attack. All it takes is one turn where the opponent hits itself in confusion for Gengar to heal up or switch into another Pokemon safely.
Night Shade is another move that will be useful in certain situations, but it won’t run through teams. The way that Night Shade works is that it inflicts damage equal to the level of the Pokemon that uses it. This is a phenomenal move during the early game where most of the Pokemon have low HP. Later on, when enemies have way more health, it loses effectiveness. Night Shade can still be nice to get consistent damage to stat boosting Pokemon, like Lorelai’s Slowbro who can spam Amnesia. It also hits Normal-type and Psychic-type Pokemon as well.