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Grass Type Starters Comparison Essay

If you do not like or love Pokemon in any way shape or form - this post is not for you. I will be using Pokemon terminology in this thread and you'll no doubt be lost if you do not understand it. Furthermore, I know the franchise tends to elect a love/hate response from most people and I do not wish to have this get into an argument. Thanks.

Also. This post will be fairly long. If you don't like reading - move on.


For those of you like me - who love everything and anything about Pokemon - you'll no doubt know that the 6th Generation of the series is due for release only about a month from now. I for one, am highly excited.

The three starter Pokemon of this new generation were revealed some time ago to be Chespin, Froakie and Fennekin, grass, water and fire respectively. Much more recently we were given their first evolution forms, Quilladin, Frogadier and Braixen resepctively. It was revealed that one of these three Pokemon will in fact be given to you by an in-game friend of your character and that the professor will actually allow you to choose between Charmander, Bulbasaur and Squirtle, the beloved generation one fire, grass and water starters, respectively.

It will be the first generation in which the player is able to select two starter Pokemon, which got me thinking about which the best combo would be and about all the starters from each generation in general. So I'd though I'd write this blog doing a somewhat in depth comparison and ranking of every starter. I intend to make this as inclusive as possible and will be comparing not only each generation vs each other, but each Pokemon within each generation vs its peers and finally a master list of all the Pokemon starters.

I will be evaluating each Pokemon based on four main categories - design, stats, move pool, and typing. And although not official, its usefulness in game will no doubt come up and I'm sure nostalgia will get the better of me a little bit ;). So without further ado...! Please keep in mind although at the end of the day, much of this comes down to my opinions and everyone is entitled to their own.

Yes, you read it right. The worst generation of starter Pokemon in my opinion, happens to be none other than Generation 2. Despite the fact that Generation 2 is heralded as one of the best Generation's of the Pokemon franchise, bringing us awesome features such as breeding, Pokemon abilities, night/day system, natures, dual-typing - as well as still being the only generation to date to offer the player a chance to collect 16 Gym Badgers...to me the worst thing about this Generation, has and always will be its starter Pokemon.

And here is the worst of the bunch. Chikorita, Bayleaef and Meganium respectively, the Generation's Grass starter.

Lets start off with the design. It is a quadruped, seemingly dinosaur inspired design (a sort of mini long neck dinosaur) with some sort of vegetation incorporated - in this case a flower.

...Sound familiar? Why yes! Yes it does! No other than the Bulbasaur line from the previous generation, the Chikorita line has too many similarities its in design...except its lamer in every way. There's nothing special, unique or anything good about this design at all in my opinion.

So how about stats? Does it at least have good stats? Well...not really. Meganium is a defensive Pokemon, boasting 100 base stat in both Special and Physical defense stats with every other stat having a total 80 give or take +5/-5 depending on the stat. His total of 530 gives him a solid number (average for starters)...but here's the problem.

A single typing of grass, just doesn't make for a good defensive Pokemon, boasting a total of five weaknesses, a very high number. Furthermore, as all ready mentioned, his single typing of grass automatically notches him below any other starter who has dual typing. As anyone who plays Pokemon knows, there are currently 18 different types of Pokemon in game. However the player is only able to carry a maximum of 6 Pokemon on hand at any given time. This makes balancing the typing of your team, VERY important, as to allow you to cover at possible threat you may encounter. This means, you need as many types as possible.

When making my teams, its rare for me personally to even have one Pokemon that only has a single type. Having 6 Pokemon all with dual types just allows you for more flexibility, defensively and most importantly offensively. Being able to get a super effective hit on any Pokemon with a STAB bonus is crucial. Furthermore...dual type Pokemon usually tend to very strong in my opinion...and they're usually just better.

Well, how about his movepool is that at least any good? Not really. His move pool isn't bad per say, offering all the normal moves you could want on a grass Pokemon...but its also not that special either. Meganium can't learn very many moves outside of the normal grass ones, that would allow him to combat a Pokemon with an unfavorable type. making him unable to combat these threads in a pinch very well.

To top it all off, the first two gyms in generation 2 are Flying and Bug respectively, meaning your Chikorita isn't going to be of much help to you to overcome these early challenges, where one would normally rely the most on his/her starter Pokemon as its most often the strongest at that point in the game.

All in all, there's just nothing that good about this Pokemon in my opinion. While he can definitely be made to work on a team, there are much better choices.

Totodile, Croconaw and Ferallgator is the 2nd best or 2nd worst (depending on how you wish to see it) Pokemon in this generation.

His design...is well...fantastic, to say the least. Combing a Water starter with inspiration from a crocodile/alligator type look was just great. Even better when they decided to make it bipedal. Totodile is cute. Feraligator looks fearsome. And Croconaw is somewhere in between. His coloring gives him great balance as well!

So whats wrong with him that he's only 2nd? Well, its his stats and his type. As mentioned earlier, I'm not a fan of single-type Pokemon, and Feraligator, like all the Pokemon of this generation, are all single types. Not good. Furthermore, whats worse for Ferligator, is his stats are set up for him to become a physically attacking Pokemon.

The problem is, as of Generation 5 - water and physical just don't match up well for attacking. There are very few physical water moves and the best one has only a mediocre power of 90. While Feraligator has a fairly diverse move pool to give him access to several powerful physical moves...it doesn't necessarily make up for the fact that he lacks a Powerful STAB Physical move. Waterfall or Aqua Tail can be made to work, certainly if your Feraligator is taught Swords Dance, but its still not great when compared to the numerous high-powered special attacking water moves that he can't make us of.

It should be noted however, that having a water type on your team in any generation is a necessity. In EVERY generation you will need a Pokemon who can surf in order to complete the game (Surf being a powerful Special move however...). And in Generation 2 you will also need Whirpool and Waterfall as well. So Feraligator certainly will come with lots of added utility.

But it just can't make up for the fact that until more and better physical water moves are added to the game, you will find Feraligator a bit lacking. He still looks awesome though, so there's that.

Which brings us to the best Pokemon of this generation in my Opinion - Cyndaquil, Quilava and Typholsion.

His design, although not quite as good as the Totodile line, is still very good. Cyndaquil is nice and cute. Typholsion is tough and Quilava is somewhere in between. I think this line takes inspiration from a Badger. All I know is, its solid.

As stated before, I dislike single type Pokemon. Being only Fire is nothing to brag about...however its not all bad. Fire type Pokemon tend to be fairly rare and few and far between in every generation, so having one as your starter can certainly help out if you want one on your team.

The best parts of this Pokemon however, are his stats and his movepool. In fact Typholsion has the EXACT same stat total and distribution as his previous generation peer, Charmander. Boasting high totals in both Special Attack and Speed, this Pokemon is well set up to be an offensive special attacker on any team.

Special attack and fire type also go hand in hand together. There are numerous high-powered fire type moves that all use special attack. Furthermore, having access to both Solarbeam and Energy Ball, Typholsion can combat types that he is weak against with good to great effectiveness. I particularly enjoy the Sunny Day + Solarbeam combination, which allows the latter to avoid a turn of charging and the former to power down water-type moves and power-up fire type moves.

All in all, while I've used all of these Pokemon at one point or another...Typholsion is the only one I'd consider bringing on any of my teams - and even then, his single typing notches him down in my eyes. I just don't like single type Pokemon - which is the main problem with this generation as a whole and thus why I've ranked them #5 and my least favorite generation of starters.

I will debate anyone to the ends of the earth about Generation 5 being the best Pokemon generation. It just does SO many great things in terms of game play, that there is no disputing it. Major things such reduced the number of required HMs (which had gotten out of control in Generation 4) or minor things such as allowing you to use an item repeatedly without having to dig into your bag each time...or even nitpicking things like reapplying your Repel without having to search in your bag...its just a fantastic generation. And don't get me started on the combining of the Pokemon Centers and Poke Marts...MY GOD that was awesome. The simple things in life...I tell ya.

Unfortunately...I pretty much hate the starters.

And this is the worst of the bunch. Tepig, Pignite and Emboar. Ugh.

His design...where do I start? Tepig isn't all that bad. A cute little fire piggy...but then it all goes horribly wrong. Someone decided to make a pig, normally a four-legged animal, into a bipedal animal. Why???? Pignite just looks like a round blob of fat and blubber and Emboar isn't much better. Seriously...was was wrong with keeping it as a quadruped? Can you just imagine a black boar, with huge tusks and a flames in place of spiked up hair on its back? It would have looked awesome! To me its a missed opportunity. A big one.

He is a Fire/Fighting type, which if you've read this post faithfully to this point you'd know I'd support as a dual typing...BUT...by the time we get to Tepig...its now been the third generation in a row to feature a Fire/Fighting Starter. And while it was amazing the first time, and still good the 2nd time...by the 3rd time around I'm left asking...why? Too much of a good thing is no longer a good thing. I wanted something more original.

His stats are fine. He is a very hard hitting, very slow but very bulky Pokemon. And it works. And with access to the move Flame Charge which will always raise his speed one stage on a hit, he can overcome his lack of speed fairly quickly.

His movepool is also good. He has high physical and special attack allowing you to go either way. Although Physical is a little bit better and works better with his Fighting subtype. There are plenty of good physical fire moves too. And he can cover most of his weaknesses with his allowed move pool too.

It still comes back to the poor design and the unoriginal Fire/Fighting combination for me though. I just don't like it. Emboar can certainly be a powerful member of your team if you wish him to be though. And fighting in particular is almost required in any generation to combat Ice, Steel, Rock and Dark types. Ice and Dark being particular popular among the elite four.

Oshawott, Dewott and Samurott. The Pokemon I neither hate anything about...or like anything about.

He's suppose to be based off an Otter. I see that in the first two forms...not so much the final form. But whatever. The first one is cute, the final one looks tough and the middle one is in between. Its a formula that works for Nintendo, so why not? It works, I guess.

His a single type though. Which I usually don't like. But as stated with Feraligator, having a water-type on your 6 member team is necessary for all generations, as you will need a Pokemon who can Surf. So he's not a bad choice in that regard either.

Like Emboar this Pokemon's stats are all pumped into both special attack and physical attack. His speed, HP and defenses are mediocre. I personally think they should take away points in his physical and add them to his special, but I can make it work.

His movepool is much the same. It works. Its flexible. Its not great...its not bad. Its just how I feel about this Pokemon. I hate nothing...and don't particular like nothing and as such, he's right in the middle for this generation.

Snivy, Servine and Serperior. The best Pokemon of this generation.

Unfortunately, the worst thing about this Pokemon is its design. When you say to me they're making a snake Pokemon, I think of something, slimey, creepy and cool. Unfortunately that's been used a couple times before...and they were poison types. So apparently Nintendo though the Grass type had to be vastly different.

Honestly...this design is just lame. It looks goofy and wimpy and ...just lame. I don't like it.

Luckily this Pokemon is saved by the combination of its stats, movepool...and its AWESOME dreamworld ability: Contrary.

Serperior is set up to be a very fast Pokemon that can take hits...but doesn't dish them out so well. Bring on Leaf Storm, one of the most powerful grass type moves in the game. With 140 base power and 90 accuracy, it will do serious damage to anyone. Usually the downside is the user suffers -2 stages of Special attack after a hit, meaning you can't keep hitting like that and have to switch out.

HOWEVER. With its ability Contrary...all stat changes to this Pokemon are reversed! This means when someone tries to lower your defense...it will actually go up. And so on and so forth. This means a Serperior using Leaf Storm will hit hard and INCREASE its special attack...hitting even harder the next time. After 1 or 2 Leaf storms...this Pokemon becomes a fast, somewhat tanky that hits HARD. Its a fantastic combo.

Its single typing of Grass is not great as previously discussed...but whatever. Its combination of stats, Leaf Storm and Contrary make this an awesome battler and make up for its design and typing enough for me to consider it the best of this generation.

I swear I didn't plan it this way. Generation 3 being the 3rd ranked Generation of starters. This generation is where things start to look up. They're all fairly good Pokemon. The problems here and going forward are smaller and smaller and may even seem a bit nit-picky. But alas, we must go on.

Mudkip, Marshtomp and Swampert. I just want to reiterate, all Pokemon in this generation are good - so don't get mad if this one is your favorite!

I'm not really sure what the inspiration was for this design...but it works. The Cute/in between/strong formula is here at work and will be seen again.

And have no fear! We finally have a dual type water Pokemon! Being Water/Ground...his typing is pretty awesome. While it does make him devastatingly weak to grass...it makes Swampert completely immune to electric attacks and can throw opponents for a loop if they aren't ready. Its a fairly unique combo and is refreshing to see.

Unfortunately...it doesn't really work. Swampert's stats set up him up to be a bulky physical attacker. And although ground most certainly favors physical Pokemon...water doesn't and it leaves Swampert wanting. I've ranted plenty about how water doesn't mix well with physical attackers previously...so I won't restate more of the same. You get it by now.

Swarmpert is still a cool Pokemon and can work well in any team. Unfortunately he is flawed...and we can't ignore it.

Treecko, Grovyle and Sceptile. Where to begin?

This design...how great is it? A Grass type Lizard/gecko? YES PLEASE! This design just works in so many ways. It follows the succesful cute/in between/tough formula and just looks good on all levels. What else is there to say?

Stat wise. This Pokemon is the FASTEST starter to be found in any generation. His speed is very high for any Pokemon in general. And while not quite as good...his Special attack is no slouch either. This Pokemon hits hard and it hits fast.

So why isn't it the best? Typing and Movepool. The Single type of Grass leaves it wanting in my opinion and its movepool is good but not great. Several of his level up moves in fact, and his signature move Leaf Blade no less, are physical attacks, which means you need to invest TM's into your Sceptile to make the most of him. Not gamebreaking, but still.

Overall Sceptile can and will be a powerful member of your team, but his typing and move pool means he's only good for one thing. Luckily that thing is kicking ass, and he is good at that. Just don't expect him to take hits or offer much flexibility and you'll be fine.

Torchic. Combusken. Blaziken. Remember these names well.

I will unashamedly tell you right now, this Pokemon is my FAVORITE starter across all generations. And its not close to be frank. I was almost tempted to bump up this generation because of Blaziken alone.

Once again we find ourselves with the tried and true formula. Cute, Fearsome and In between. Only its better. This Pokemon is, to quote one of my good friends "A fire ninja...chicken". No 3 greater combination of words exist. Fire. Ninja. Chicken. My god...the awesomeness.

Fire/Fighting. The first combo of his kind and the first starter to have this combination. And my god...is it awesome. It not only makes the design look amazing, but it turns this Pokemon in an offensive powerhouse with a huge repertoire of moves to draw upon. His movepool is awesome, introducing several powerful moves such as Flare Blitz and Hi Jump Kick. as well as reliable medium moves like Double Kick, Fire Punch, Blaze Kick and Sky Uppercut. The last 2 moves were signature moves of this Pokemon in fact, and were introduced specifically for him at the time.

And if that's not good enough...Blaziken has gotten even better in Generation 5. Bring on his Dream World ability...Speed Boost. It raises his somewhat mediocre speed by 1 stage every turn its in combat. SAY WHAT? You read it right. This Pokemon's speed increases by default just by being out in combat.

So what you have is a Pokemon who stats make it hit VERY hard (physical or specially, but moreso physically) and it gets faster by default. And as such...Blaziken is the first start to reach the Uber class of Pokemon as classified by Smogon University. He is just that good.

Blaziken was easily the highlight of generation 3 for me. And the best starter overall in my opinion. I love everything about him.

Overall Generation 4 was very up and down for me. It was the first generation on the DS and didn't make us of the DS feature well at all. The main series of Diamond, Pearl and Platinum also had horrible story and annoying gameplay. There was way too much back tracking and a record amount of required HMs, requiring stupid ones like Defog and Rock Climb. Ugh.

Luckily, what this Generation did best, possibly the best of all others...was adding New Pokemon. It adds so many fantastic new ones, and even improves old ones. And its starters are no exception. Once again I must reiterate...there is not a single bad starter in this generation. Its all about what you want in your starter. So keep that in mind, these are OPINIONS.

Turtwig, Grotle and Torterra. The "worst" of the bunch. There's really only 1 reason why.

His design. Yup. You know what I'm talking about. Its a quadruped dinosaur with vegetation thrown in. We've seen it before twice now. Ugh. While the Turtwig line very much looks better than the Chikorita line...its still an unoriginal design and gets marked down for that. It doesn't look horrible...but originality would have been nice.

Everything else about this Pokemon is great though. His stats make him a bulky but slow Pokemon...and he hits HARD. In previous generations, I would have not liked a physically attacking grass type...but it works in this generation with new added moves.

Torterra using his Grass/Ground combination can learn moves like Wood Hammer and Earthquake. This means when this Pokemon hits you, you feel it. The ground subtype also takes away the weaknesses to Bug and Poison, even if it trades for a 4x weakness of Ice. Its still nice though.

Perhaps the only bad thing about this Pokemon (other than design) is that is pitifully slow. Still. he has respectable bulk to over come this and he usually 1-shots most Pokemon anyway.

I feel like this might be a surprise to any faithful Pokemon players. But here it is. This line is only my 2nd favorite of the generation.

It certainly follows the tried and true formula of cute, in between and tough. Chimcar is quite cute, Monferno is in between and Infernape looks tough. And I mean...a fire money? Yes please. Whats not to like?

His stats are just as good. Infernape is built to do one thing. Hit hard and hit fast. This Pokemon has very high (and equal) ratings in Physical and Special attack, and speed. Sporting moves like Flare Blitz, Close Combat, Stone Edge and Thunder Punch, he hits hards and gives fantastic coverage. This Pokemon really doesn't leave you wanting in any specific area. He can't take a hit, but you can't have everything!

So why is he 2nd? No real good reason to be honest. He just is. The Fire/Fighting combo knocks him down a tad, for the originality. But the combo is not overused when we are introduced to Infernape...so its not a huge deal. And he just makes it work so well. I know many/most Pokemon fans consider him to be the best of the Generation, and there is good reason for that. He's just not quite mine.

My favorite Pokemon of the generation. Everything about him is great. I wish Nintendo would make more Pokemon with this line in mind.

We knew it would happen sooner or later. Penguins are hugely popular animals and Pokemon succeeds in its starter. Piplup is as cute as they come and Empolean lives up to his species as an "Emperor" type pokemon. He's awesome. Prinpulp is a bit derpy IMO...but it works.

The best part about this Pokemon? Water/Steel combo. That's right. WATER and STEEL. To date its the only combination of its kind. And it just so happens steel is my favorite type. Empolean is utterly unique in this regard and is awesome.

Even better? His stats. This is Pokemon is centered around hitting hard specially and takes licks specially, having over 100 plus stats in each category. And with the new move introduced in Generation 4 of Flash cannon, special and steel typing isn't a bad combo as it would have been in previous generations. Water too, works oh so well with special attack.

Empolean is kind of slow...but he can take hits, so its not game breaking.

In summary, in choosing this Pokemon you get: a great design, an utterly unique combo, good stats, a great move pool and the added utility of water pokemon with the badassness of steel Pokemon. There's nothing to dislike and why I consider him the best of Generation 4.

All-in-all this Generation is FANTASTIC. I've raised all 3 of them and you can't go wrong with any of them. It just depends on your preference. I hope Nintendo keeps this Generation in mind when going forward. If not for slightly-inferior design (mostly on Torterra) and nostalgia, this generation is probably the best of the bunch.

Come on. You knew it was coming right? Was there every any doubt? No one beats the originals. Again I need to remind you, there is no bad Pokemon in this generation. I've used them all multiple times and they all work. Its only a matter of opinion.

It really sucks to have to rank these 3. Because they are all great. If there has to be a last one though...its Blastoise. And its only because I'm not a fan of single-types.

But the design. Oh yeah. A water turtle...with CANNONS? WHAT? YES PLEASE! Blastoise is just as cool as they come and his previous generations are equal forms of cool and cute. Both Ash and Gary wanted a Squirtle starter after all because they knew how awesome he is. (Gary got him though and Ash didn't! :)) Any Pokemon good enough for a 10 year old who drives cars and has 20 year old cheerleaders is good enough for me.

Blastoise, like his cannons imply, is a tank. He boasts a good amount of HP and 100+ in both defense stats which means - he is hard to take down. And although he is marked down slightly for only having a single type...Water makes a great tank type. Boasting only 2 weaknesses, which Blastoise can most certainly cover with access to Ice Beam/Blizzard to defeat grass types and Earthquake for Electric, the single typing isn't bad in anyway. His Attack/Special attack stats are nearly equal too, so he's fairly flexible offensively.

Again. It sucks to have to rank them. Because Blastoise is awesome and I love him. But I am ranking them after all.

Much like Infernape, I feel like this Pokemon is more popular than where I rank it. With good reason of course.

One could make the case that there is no cuter Pokemon than Charmander. And one can also make that case that there is no Pokemon more badass than Charizard. And..have you seen his shiny form? Black Charizard looks AWESOME. Combine fire + lizards / dragons and you pretty much win. What else is there to say?

Charizard is also the only starter to have a flying sub type. And the ONLY Fire/Flying Pokemon (non-legendary), which is quite amazing given that he is a generation 1 Pokemon. This gives him amazing utility as he allows his trainer not to have to hunt down a Flying Pokemon to carry him/her around the respective regions. I can't understate that enough, because most Flying Pokemon suck. And the ones that don't often are legendary or pseudo-legendary and/or don't come into the games into very late.

His stats are also good. At first glance Charizard has the same stats as Typholsion (its more accurate to say Typholsion has the same stats as Charizard in fact). This mean Specially, it hits hard and is very fast.

Unlike Typholsion however. Charizard has quite possibly one of the best movesets in the game. Don't like Special attacks? No problem! With access to Belly Drum, Swords Dance AND Dragon Dance (the latter through Breeding), Charizard can EASILY be made into a physical sweeper. And with access to moves like Solarbeam and Earthquake...he can cover his weaknesses too.

To those of you who like to stay specially offensive though. His dream world ability is also amazing, boosting Charizard's special attack by 1.5 under Sunlight in exchange for HP.

In short. There is no greater starting Pokemon in terms of flexibility. Charizard does it all. And he looks amazing. And he is Ash's strongest Pokemon. Charizard has so much going for him. He's just not quite my favorite. But trust me, he is a joy to train for any trainer, whatever the style.

And there you have it folks. The best pokemon of the best generation. Not quite my favorite overall, but my 2nd favorite. The grass dinosaur Pokemon, Bulbasaur, Ivysaur and Venasaur.

Although I criticized other starter Pokemon in this thread becauseof this this design...this line is the original one. And it works. I love the combination of dinosaur + flower. And I LOVE how the flower represents his evolution, starting as a bulb and ending as a flower. The light green/dark green and pink contrast well and he just look great!

His typing is also awesome too. Grass/Poison. Although it is a common type combo...there is none greater than Venusaur using it. Venusaur's stats are like Empolean's. This Pokemon is all about attacking specially and defending specially, with solid bulk and mediocre speed. Here's the difference though.

His dream world ability: Chlorophyll. This ability DOUBLES the speed of the Pokemon under Sun Light, making Venusaur anything but slow. Combine that with the fact that Solarbeam doesn't require a charging turn under sunlight and Synthesis heals for twice as much under the bright sun...and you have a TERRIFYING Pokemon. You do not want to meet a Venusaur in combat when the sun is out. He can heal himself and dish out the pain...and run circles around you in the process.

And just for good measure...a STAB Sludge Bomb is nothing you want to be on the receiving end of either.

All-in-all although not quite as flexible as Charizard...Venusaur very much excels at one thing - kicking ass under the sunlight. I can't tell you how many teams I've swept with Venusaur abusing the Sunny Day/Solar Beam/Synthesis combo. Its even better if you can have another Pokemon set up Sun light for you.

And to top it all off (as if he needed more) The first 3 gyms in generation 1 are Rock, Water and Electric. Grass types are super effective against the first two and defensively strong against the 3rd. This makes Bulbasaur a Pokemon who can carry a young trainer through the first three gyms in Kanto, while they are still searching for more members of their team.

All-in-all...nothing quite beats the original 3. They just all rock. I've used them all and enjoy them all immensely. And while I don't deny nostalgia playing a part in their ranking - they're still the best.

And finally...we have the master list of all my rankings of all the starter Pokemon to date.

Blaziken > Venusaur > Empolean > Charizard > Blastoise > Infernape > Sceptile > Torterra > Swampert > Serperior > Typholsion > Feraligator > Samurott > Emboar > Meganium

I want to thank anyone who actually read this entire post and made it this far. I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts and evaluations about the 15 starters we've had the pleasure of playing with so far. I only hope Nintendo creates another great trio for us to explore in Generation 6, next month. I also apologize for any typos or grammar errors. I typed this post all in 1 sitting and I suck at finding my own mistakes.

And remember. GOTTA CATCH EM ALL! :)

When you first started your game of Pokemon you were given one of the hardest decisions you will ever make in the entire game. After giving yourself a name, and your rival a hilarious and degrading moniker, you were tasked with choosing your very first starter Pokemon. The decision wasn’t easy either; there were only three choices and each of them came with pros and cons, especially considering your rival would get to choose his Pokemon after you picked yours.

Well, in case you didn’t realize it, you absolutely should have chosen the grass-type Pokemon. Many are lured away by the more tangible elemental forces of fire and water, but having a grass-type Pokemon in your arsenal to begin the game is paramount to your success, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. In case you needed additional facts to back up our argument, here are 15 Reasons Why Grass-Type Pokemon Are The Best Start.

15. They Help You Beat Brock In Red/Blue

Remember Brock from the Pokemon TV show? The dude has an affinity for rock-type Pokemon. In the game, the same sentiment is true. When you arrive to do battle with Brock at your first Gym contest, you’ll do battle against a Geodude and an Onix, two rock Pokemon. They may look fierce and tough, but never fear, player! You are equipped with a grass-type Pokemon.

Why is that important? Well, if you’ve leveled up sufficiently, your grass-type Pokemon is likely to have learned a grass-type attack, which does major damage to rock-type Pokemon, thus sealing this victory pretty effortlessly. Aren’t you glad you chose a grass Pokemon instead of that stupid fire-type who would struggle futilely against Brock’s rock monsters?

You’ll be sending Brock home crying and nursing his poor, sweet rock-type Pokemon in no time. We’re pretty sure he won’t mind, he’s got a huge crush on Nurse Joy.

14. And Help You Beat Misty In Red/Blue

That’s right, not only do the grass-type Pokemon help you defeat Brock’s rock-types, they also help you annihilate the second gym leader’s Pokemon. Another pivotal character in the Pokemon television show, Misty is quite fond of water-type Pokemon. It just so happens that water-type Pokemon are also extremely weak against grass-type Pokemon. So, get ready to Vine Whip all over their butts and take Misty down in a heartbeat. Her eclectic mix of water Pokemon are no match for your grass-type. Staryu and Starmie will have no idea what hit them when they do battle with you.

If you chose a fire-type for this battle, you are up the creek without a paddle. We all know that fire is weak against water, so Misty would clearly have an advantage here. If you chose a water Pokemon to begin the game, you are just throwing water at water, and that is a pretty even matchup. No clear advantages or anything, so you’d need to rely on other Pokemon to give you the edge, which isn’t an easy task this early in the game.

13. And Also The Third Gym Leader In Red/Blue

Well, what do you know? The Pokemon who helps you slay the first two gym leaders comes in handy against the third as well. Lt. Surge is the leader of the third gym you encounter in Red/Blue, and he strictly uses electric Pokemon, who are notably weak against grass-types. Grass Pokemon are immune to a lot of the attacks Lt. Surge will throw at you, so this makes for yet another easy gym badge victory, leaving you well on your way to demolishing this game. Also, why the heck is Lt. Surge, a military veteran, battling children? It feels like that should be some sort of crime.

How would the other starters have fared? Well, water Pokemon are notoriously weak against electric-types, so you’d be screwed there. Fire Pokemon have no clear advantage or disadvantage, so that point is moot. Opting for the grass-type will get you on the fast track to game domination. And isn’t that what we all want? To crush our opponents into submission? If that’s not why you’re here, you probably bought the wrong game. You might be looking for Pokemon Snap.

12. Fire Pokemon Are Rare

In all of the games, there are only 72 fire-type Pokemon, and only 34 fire-type attacks. Plus the fire gym leader, Blaine, doesn’t come until much later in the game, after you’ve accrued a beautiful bounty of water Pokemon that you can throw at him. In fact, by that point in the game you will probably have abandoned your starter Pokemon to make room for much cooler and useful Pokemon in your lineup.

Sure, grass Pokemon are weak against fire-types, but that won’t really even come into play until much later in the game– or whenever your rival shows up and decides to face off against you. That darn rascal. Always trying to thwart your plans of beating the game.

Plus, finding fire Pokemon later in the game is no easy task. Since there are so few of them around, it would be hard to amass a giant collection of them to destroy your grass Pokemon.

11. They’re Adorable

Say what you will about those other Pokemon, but the grass-types are certainly cute. From Bulbasaur to Snivy to Treecko, you’ll have an adorable little pocket monster with you at all times. Even after they evolve, they are still pretty adorable. Have a look at Torterra. Who can pretend that an enormous turtle with a forest on its back isn’t awesome to look at. Meganium is just calming and peaceful to look at, even though that Pokemon packs a vicious punch.

Plus when it’s sunny, you can catch some shade under Torterra’s or Venusaur’s giant trees growing out of their backs. Relax in the shade with your awesome grass Pokemon.

The other starter Pokemon grow up to look a lot more vicious and angsty, like they’ve gone through some serious rage issues. You don’t want to have any of that business when you’re trying to be the very best, like no one ever was.

10. They Won’t Betray You Like Charmeleon and Charizard

Speaking of evolutions of Pokemon going through some rage issues, do you remember on the television show how once Charmander evolved, it turned into a jerk? The second that little Pokemon took the next step in its evolution, it started breathing fire in Ash’s face non-stop, openly disobeying his commands, and being an all-around P.O.S.

Things got so bad that once Charmeleon evolved into Charizard, Ash had to let him go. That’s right, a Pokemon he caught and nurtured got too unruly, so he had to give that Pokemon away. It was a huge waste of time and energy. He was probably bragging to all of his friends about the cool fire Pokemon he had, only to have that Pokemon destroy his whole life after a while. There’s a lesson to be learned here.

Did Bulbasaur do anything like that? Of course not. He was a loyal trooper for Ash and his cronies, and was always there by his side, never blowing fire in his face (which is extremely deadly, by the way).

9. Many Types Of Pokemon Are Weak Against Grass-Types

Previously, it was mentioned that a grass-type Pokemon will aid you against the first three, count ’em, three gym leaders. That’s because grass-type Pokemon are potent against a ton of types of Pokemon. Not only are their attacks against rock and water Pokemon super effective, they are also powerful against ground-types as well. That puts you at a distinct advantage when heading into battle against other Pokemon trainers. And trust us, you’re going to be doing a ton of battling as you travel through these games.

Water Pokemon are very abundant in the Pokemon Universe, as there are over 140. Combine that with rock’s 67, and ground’s 75, and you have the upper hand on nearly 300 Pokemon that exist in the world. There are only 802 Pokemon in the known universes, so being strong against nearly 300 is going to help you along the road. That’s a huge advantage.

8. Many Grass Pokemon Can Learn Poison Attacks

Of the 109 grass Pokemon known to the universe, 71 of them are known as dual-type Pokemon. That means they are not just grass-types; they have a second type that grants them special abilities and attacks. Most commonly, grass Pokemon are paired with the poison-type, which can pay dividends in battle.

When you use a poison attack on an enemy, it will systematically drain their HP, thus making it almost impossible for them to carry on in battle for very long without fainting. This will maim your opponent’s Pokemon, crippling them not only during battle, but presumably after, as the effects of a poisoning don’t just end when the battle does.

Sure, it may seem a little sadistic and evil to think of being able to poison Pokemon as a good thing, but when your main objective is to defeat opponents as swiftly as possible, you’ll stop at nothing to down them. Even if that means having to poison some innocent Pokemon along the way.

7. Their Health-Replenishing Attacks

Grass-type Pokemon are notable for having many attacks that not only maim their opponent’s hit points, but also replenish their own. Moves like Leech Seed not only hurt their opponent; they replenish the grass-type Pokemon’s health in the process. In fact, there are plenty of grass-type attacks with the same effect. Grass Pokemon know how to drain the life out of their opponent. They are like the vampires of the Pokemon world.

Imagine how helpful that could be if it applied to real life. Most UFC fighters would probably love to learn a move that drains their opponent’s health and replenishes their own. That’s an ace-in-the-hole that no one can prepare for.

This will come in handy when your Pokemon is about to faint. The Leech Seed will sap some extra health so you can get in that one last attack that could mean the difference between victory and defeat.

6. Their High Defensive Stats

You know the old saying, “defense wins championships”? Well, if you’re looking to win a championship, look no further than the grass-type starters. They are generally much higher on the defensive stat scale than their fire and water counterparts. That will keep them alive and remaining in the heat of battle while all those other loser Pokemon will have fainted long ago.

Having the ability to defend yourself is paramount to succeeding in the world of battle, and if your skin is as thick as a Torterra or a Venusaur, you should consider yourself lucky. They are some of the most defensive Pokemon in the games, and that is important when you are trying to extend the length of a battle.

Sure, it’s nice to be able to attack, but if you are attacking an impenetrable wall like a grass Pokemon, you might as well just give up and go home. Their defense will keep them fighting for a long, long time.

5. Their Defensive Move Set

Not only do grass Pokemon have high stats on the defensive side of things, but they also can learn impressive defensive moves that will render their opponent’s attacks useless. Chesnaught can learn a move called Spiky Shield that can nullify all damage done by the opponent’s next attack. That’s undeniably impressive. Plus, if your defensive stats are already on the high end, these complementary movies will only help further you in the heat of battle, leading to a war of attrition that grass-types will most surely win.

Add Light Screen and Reflect to Spiky Shield, and you have an impressive defensive move set that will frustrate just about any opponent. But it won’t just drive your foe up the wall; after a healthy dose of Leech Seeds, Razor Leafs, and Vine Whips, they will be pounded into submission, with the Pokemon trainer across from you waving the white flag. Victory tastes glorious.

4. High Hit Point Levels

It’s almost not fair that grass-types are gifted with high defensive statistics, incredible defensive moves, and high hit point levels, but that’s where we stand. A key to staying in the heat of a Pokemon battle is being able to stay alive, and since grass-types have superior defense, defensive moves, moves that replenish their health, and the highest hit point levels, you know for sure these Pokemon will last you a long time.

If you got into a fight in the real world and you knew you could withstand copious amounts of punishment, far more than whoever you are fighting, you’d feel pretty confident going into that battle. Grass Pokemon have that distinct advantage to last into the later rounds of a duel.

Your grass-types won’t be fainting any time soon. You’ll be battling tooth and nail long after the water and fire Pokemon have fainted due to their ineptitude in the HP game.

3. They Are Rarer Than Water Pokemon

Sure, grass Pokemon aren’t as rare as fire-types, but all you need to do is get yourself a decent fishing rod in the Pokemon Universe, and you’ll be able to capture numerous water Pokemon. You don’t need to pick a water type to start off the game, as there are loads and loads of water types out there in the world. In fact, there are 141 water Pokemon out there, compared to 109 grass types. You’ll have plenty of time to go out on your own and pick up some water Pokemon.

And fire Pokemon? Pfft, who needs them? They are only useful in battle against one gym leader. You read that right, one single gym leader. Sure, Erika will be shaking in her boots when you roll up to her gym with a Charmeleon, but no one else will bat an eye.

So have fun with your Charmander and Cyndaquil. If you choose a fire Pokemon as your starter, you must be a glutton for punishment.

2. Their Weaknesses Are Rarely Exploited

As mentioned before, fire Pokemon don’t come into play until much later in the game. As for the rest of grass Pokemon’s weaknesses? Ice Pokemon are even rarer than fire Pokemon, with only 43, there’s only 69 poison-types, and there is only 83 bug-type Pokemon. The only worry really are flying Pokemon, but by the time you have to deal with those types, you’ll have an arsenal of other Pokemon you can deploy to fight against those.

Yes, admittedly there are more types of Pokemon who are strong against grass-types than there are types of Pokemon who are weak against grass-types. But you really shouldn’t be worried about that considering they are non-factors until later in the games.

You might be sick of me mentioning “later in the game,” but you need to understand that we are talking about STARTER Pokemon, as in the best Pokemon to START with. Sure, Grass Pokemon have their deficiencies later on, but to START the game, you can’t go wrong with these Pokemon. Sure, they may be bad for you to FINISH with, but we are just STARTING the game.

1. They Are Energy Efficient

Imagine a world, if you will, where Pokemon are real. Grass-type Pokemon would be the hippies of the Pokemon Universe. They acquire a majority of their via the sun, and many of their attacks are solar-based. You could say that they are possibly the most energy efficient Pokemon around. In a world where we are constantly trying to preserve our planet, grass Pokemon would be our best friends in that fight. In fact, Meganium, an evolution of the starter Pokemon Chikorita, is said to be able to bring dead plants back to life with its breath.

How cool is that?! Wouldn’t that be nice to have around? Amid the concerns about deforestation and whether we can actually preserve the environment, grass Pokemon could come in really handy. Think about the real-world possibilities and understand that if Pokemon were real, you’d want a grass Pokemon by your side. Fire would only bring destruction, and water Pokemon would only be useful to water the plants that your grass Pokemon just brought back to life.

Have we convinced you to start with a grass-type Pokemon? Which grass-type starter is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!

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