Image via The Pokémon Company
Previously I ranked all 26 starters pokemon of the franchise, basing my information on both the games and the TV anime series. But this information will not help if you are going to play the games as the anime and games are totally different. After all, you won’t get a disobedient Charizard if you play the video games (unless you’re missing some gym badges, but that’s another story).
But what makes a starter Pokemon not worth using in the game? Is it his abilities? Is it what it can offer in the late game? Or is it both? Maybe you are the type of person who likes to have cool Pokémon at your party. Or maybe you want to challenge yourself and take these Pokémon with you while you play the game.
So using information using the games and not the anime, here are the top 5 worst Pokémon starters of all time.
Why Pikachu again? Listen, Pikachu is such an easy choice, but it’s not 100% that bad. For starters, if you walk a short distance from your starting point in pokemon go when you start a new game, you can get a Pikachu as a partner. But despite being a unique starter Pokemon, you can’t evolve it into Raichu in Pokemon Yellow† Also, the first gym is Brock’s in Pewter City and electric types aren’t great against rock types. Also, the third gym is electric type, so good luck getting through that unless you have other Pokémon in your company.
While Charizard is a great Pokémon, we can’t ignore its base form, Charmander. Aside from the Pokédex description that says the flame on its tail indicates this Pokémon’s life force, its hidden “solar” ability isn’t all that beneficial for this Pokémon. While it is a fair trade to decrease HP in exchange for an increase in the special attack, it is only effective in sunny weather and there are other fire types with better abilities.
As in the Kanto region, Chikorita is also underrated in the Johto region in terms of the game’s meta. Cyndiquil’s latest evolution form is an instant favorite/go-to for Pokémon fans, while Feraligatr is the second best. Not many fans have shown their appreciation for Chikorita and his line of evolution when it comes to competitive Pokémon, which is a bit sad because this leaf Pokémon has a lot of potential.
While Treeko is pretty good, his hidden ability is pretty much useless. Are you telling me that someone needs to steal this Pokémon’s item so it can move faster? Not every Pokémon battle in the game has someone steal something that renders this ability virtually useless.
Before the introduction of Tepig, there were two other starter Pokemon that fully evolve into a firefighting type. So Tepig coming in third means it has to bring something to the table. The first was Torchic with the last evolution form Blaziken. It had the special ability ‘speed boost’ that increases its speed with every turn. Next up was Chimchar and his final form, Infernape. It has the hidden ability ‘Iron Fist’ that increases the power of all punch moves. And Tepig? It has thick fat as a hidden ability that only halves the damage of ice and fire-type moves, which is pretty much useless because ice is weak against fire and fire against fire isn’t as effective.
See, not all starter Pokemon are that bad. It’s just that there are better choices when you look deeper in terms of the Pokémon’s potential. Whether it’s their hidden skills or just their playing style in the video games, it will help determine whether it will help you get through the game faster or not.
But just because I consider this starter Pokemon bad doesn’t mean you should too. Maybe you like them for various reasons and you know what, that’s good enough.