Some of the most popular Pokémon in existence are the ones we receive at the beginning of our journeys. Our Starters. And why not? They’re the first Pokemon you obtain on your journey. They almost always have great designs, as well as have great-looking evolutions. They’re with you for the entirety of the game – unless you’re the type of Philistine that deposits their starter in the PC. Sometimes they’re lacking in good stats and abilities, but that normally is besides the point. The bond we have for our Starter Pokémon is one that can’t be broken, so without further ado, here’s a rundown of our favourite Starter Pokémon.
Tepig’s an interesting little Pokémon. It might not be as good design-wise as the other two Gen V starters (Snivy’s cooler and Oshawott is cute as a button), but it has a few things going for it. For one, an evolution that is pretty usable in competitive play – Emboar has decent Attack and Defence, and when you pair that with Reckless, Emboar’s Hidden Ability, you have a pretty hard hitter on your hands. Choosing Tepig is worth it in the long run to get Emboar.
Froakie is the latest incarnation of the Water-type choice, and it’s easy to see why it makes the list. People might disagree with this and claim that Totodile or Squirtle are the better choice, but Froakie has one thing that Totodile and Squirtle definitely don’t – and that’s Protean. Protean, Froakie’s Hidden Ability, is an Ability that causes Froakie to turn from a Water-type to the type of whatever attack it’s using. For example, if Froakie uses Aerial Ace, which is a Flying-type move, Froakie itself becomes a Flying-type for that turn and thus gains the STAB boost. It’s an Ability that, along with Froakie’s pretty cute appearance, that gains it a place on our list.
The first Pokémon in National Pokedex order, Bulbasaur holds a very dear place in a lot of hearts, including my own. It was the very first Starter I chose, way back when I was a happy-go-lucky eight-year-old playing Red for the first time. It’s not just the nostalgia, though – Bulbasaur was a hardy little Pokémon, having a type advantage over the first four Gyms in Red and Blue, and with a little investment and training, when it finally became Venusaur, it could withstand a lot of attacks that would have otherwise taken it down in one hit. And look at its little face. Just look. You have to admit it’s a cutie.
We all remember how Ash captured his Charmander, and raised it into a highly disobedient Charizard, and a lot of people thought about how cool Charizard was, so decided to start with Charmander to have that cool factor on their team. And you know what? Based on Charizard’s coolness, and the type advantage it has over Bulbasaur, they’re right. Great design, great typing, solid presence in the anime and games…Charmander has it all.
No, it isn’t a Gen 1 starter. No, it’s not Charmander, but you know what? Doesn’t matter to me. Treecko, since its first appearance in Gen 3, has always been my favourite starter Pokémon. It’s a cool little lizard that’s quick as lightning and has great offensive capabilities, and these qualities only get better when it evolves all the way into Sceptile. Granted, Gen 3 was a little tough on it at first, with a not-great moveset and trouble with a few Gyms, but hasn’t everyone had that trouble at some stage? Yes, they have. So Treecko might catch flak, but it, it’s evolutions Grovyle and Sceptile (and, of course, Mega Sceptile) will always hold a very special place in my heart whenever I pick up a Pokémon game.
Who’s your favourite starter? Think Cyndaquil or Chespin could have made the cut? Leave it in the comments!