Starter Pokemon have always been an integral part of the mainline Pokemon series. Picking your first buddy from a selection of three Pokemon is a proud tradition that has been maintained throughout the many years. The starter Pokemon has always varied between quality. Some great and other not so great. Today, I would like to take you through my opinion on what are the top 10 starter Pokemon of all time.
I’ve based my list on the Pokemon’s strength (Stats, Ability and Usage in competitive play) and a general gauge of popularity. Furthermore, the Pokemon are judged on their final form.
So without further ado, here is my opinion on what are the top 10 starter Pokemon of all time.
Being relatively new to the Pokemon family, Chestnaught will likely fall into the less popular or unknown category. Regardless of reputation or lack of, Chestnaught can perform an unique role for any team and therefore can be considered to be a very good Pokemon. Chestnaught shines when used as a tank with the following moves: Spikes, Leech Seed, Spiky Shield and Drain Punch. With these moves paired with good defensive stats, Chestnaught can be very difficult (not to mention annoying) to take out.
Empoleon is a rather unfortunate Pokemon. In looks, appearance and general popularity, this ugly duckling has always been overshadowed by a number of its fellow starter Pokemon. It’s such a shame because Empoleon is highly underrated in my opinion. Empoleon has impressive defensive stats, unique typing combination and a more than handy Special Attack. Back in the Diamond and Pearl days, Empoleon was an effective late game sweeper that used that infamous sub-pataya moveset coupled with its typing to wreak havoc on opponents. In today’s competitive circuit, Empoleon is a noteworthy support Pokemon.
Swampert is another Pokemon that has been blessed with the fabled Mega Evolution. As such, its reputation is naturally elevated. In its normal form, Swampert most often serves as a defensive tank who can absorb a few hits while dishing it back. Meanwhile, Mega Swampert can devastate teams with a rain dance boost and its enormous Attack stat. The only downside to Swampert is that it is not the most popular and recognizable Pokemon going around.
Blastoise is in my opinion the weakest of the three original starter Pokemon. A fierce looking Pokemon with a hard shell that has stats to match its appearance, Blastoise doesn’t have the right tools to become a truly exceptional Pokemon. Blastoise and its respective Mega Evolution shines in really in one role that being a bulky rapid spinner. While you could probably fiddle around with some creative movesets, it will soon become apparent that this turtle gun is fairly limited. More positively, Blastoise is one of the more recognizable starter Pokemon being the original starter and having key roles in the Indigo Plateau Arc and Pokemon Origins.
Sceptile has come of age in the most recent Pokemon game – Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. The advent of the Mega Evolutions subsequently has given Sceptile a number of new tools to play with. The most important being a sizable boost in key stats like Special Attack and Speed plus a dual typing in Grass and Dragon. While Mega Sceptile sports impressive stats in paper it still has trouble keeping up with the more over-used Pokemon, Sceptile is a good Pokemon, but it’s not an exceptional one. In terms of recognition, Sceptile did have a prominent role in the Hoenn league being Satoshi’s (Ash) signature fully evolved friend.
Infernape has somewhat fallen in usage in the most recent generation. The introduction of stronger Pokemon and the Mega Evolution has blunted Infernape efficacy in competitive battles. In short, Infernape hasn’t been able to keep up with the stronger and harder hitting Pokemon in today’s metagame. Despite this, Infernape is still a respectable Pokemon with great offensive stats and speed, and a movepool that makes the fiery ape very versatile. In the anime, Infernape had a prominent role being Satoshi (Ash in the English dub) strongest ally during the Sinnoh league.
The latest games have been extremely kind to Venusaur, giving this old plant a new stream of water to allow it to bloom into a magnificent beast. The hidden ability Chlorophyll allows Venusaur to abuse sunlight from Drought Ninetails. Meanwhile its Mega Evolution adds another dimension to Venusaur’s play able to perform a tank role in balance teams. Also being one of the original starter trio, Venusaur is also one of the most famous Pokemon to date.
When in its Mega form, Blaziken is arguably stronger than the two starters ahead of it in this list. However, Blaziken sorta loses out in popularity and recognition, which is judge on my own perception of popularity. Mega Blaziken is an absolute monster with impressive offensive stats in both Special and Normal department coupled with one of the best abilities in the game – Speed Boost. Even without a Mega Evolution, Blaziken can still hold its own being an offensive beast with Speed Boost.
Despite being a relatively new to the Pokemon family, Greninja has experienced incredible popularity in both the competitive circuit and in the general community. A testament to its popularity is its appearance in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS and a starring role in the upcoming new season of the anime – Pokemon XY&Z. In terms of power and strength, Greninja hits hard with good special attack, impressive speed and a boost with every hit thanks to its unique ability – Protean. Greninja is easily the best starter of Gen 6 and easily one of the best starters period.
Arguably the most popular and recognizable starter of all time, it comes at no surprise that Charizard takes the number one spot in this Top 10 list. A somewhat poster child of the Pokemon series (only behind Pikachu), there will be very few people among the gaming community who does not of Charizard. A fierce looking Pokemon and exceptionally powerful monster thanks to its two Mega Evolutions. Charizard is arguably the most versatile and powerful starter Pokemon, with two sublime Mega Evolutions each having a unique trait and roles. I suspect that many Pokemon fans will agree with my number one choice (I hope).