Best Single Type Runs in Sun and Moon and USUM

June 1st, 2019 Update: This article has been updated to include a Single Type Run for Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. Since the games are very similar I didn’t think it was worth it to make an entirely new article altogether. When looking at the Type Teams look out for the USUM symbols for Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon.
There were also minor corrections on which Pokemon could be caught, I had to remove Heracross, for instance, as it couldn’t be caught until after the Elite Four.
Enjoy!

When Pokémon Sun and Moon was released I wanted to do another Single Type Run (or Monotype Run) analysis on these games similar to my earlier article on previous generations. The purpose of this project was to determine which types were the best for a Single Type Run in Pokémon Sun and Moon? With just two games to tackle, this question is easier to answer than before however, I had to change my setup as Trials and Kahunas were added and Gym Leaders were removed. I had to tackle this problem a little differently but I think I succeeded. If you want to find out what a team of Bug or Psychic Pokémon would be like in Pokémon Sun, Moon, or USUM just scroll down past these next few paragraphs and find that type.

Image from pokemon.com

RULES: As in my last article, a Single Type Run assumes you don’t trade (so no Golem or Alakazam for instance) to yourself on Pokémon Bank or to other players. If you’re doing a run like Electric, you must capture the first available Electric Pokémon (Pichu) and box your starter. You may capture a Pokémon that will evolve into a certain type (like Pichu for a Psychic-type run) but you must evolve it asap. Only Pokémon that can be caught before the Elite Four are counted (so no Lucario).

So overall, how did Sun and Moon do compared to earlier games? Unfortunately, although Sun/Moon provides players with a diverse set of Pokémon fairly early on, these games are worse at covering weaknesses than XY (but roughly the same as ORAS). XY scored 32 out of 36 (18 types times two games) for neutralizing cover as opposed to SM’s 25 out of 36. Mind you, this is still pretty good when compared to other generation-premiere games as the next best is Ruby/Sapphire with a score of 16 out of 34.
Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon fared better with its increase of 101 Pokemon in the games. They score 31 out of 36 with Pokemon type coverage. Read a few paragraphs below for more information.

What are great types for Pokemon Sun and Moon?

image from bulbagarden.net

image from bulbagarden.net

Right off the bat, the two types that benefit the most are Fairy and Ghost. This is the first time we have starters that evolve into these types. This combined with their neutral coverage makes them great types for a Single Type Run. This is one of the few times a Ghost-type run has neutral coverage so I urge you to try it out here. Also, you can catch a plethora of Ghost Pokémon on the first island including Drifloon, Gastly, Misdreavus, and Sableye; great Pokémon that will go far with you. Fairy types received a nice, mix bag of Pokémon such as Klefki’s weakness neutralization and Primarina and Mimikyu serving as back up. You can also get a Gardevoir via Island Scan in USUM.

I would argue that Sun and Moon are probably the best Pokémon games for an Ice-type run. You can get a Crabrawler somewhat early and from there you can get a Delibird and a Shellder and then an Eevee on Aklala Island. The biggest thing to consider is your Sandslash and Ninetales exclusives. Both of which neutralize certain weaknesses (Rock, Steel and Fighting respectively) but other Pokémon can cover them so it’s not a do-or-die situation. Also, this is one of the few games where you can do an Ice team with the Snow Warning ability. Catch and train a Vanillish and evolve it into a Vanilluxe for that sweet Hailstorm, your Froslass and other pokemon will benefit HUGELY from it. However, the biggest drawback of your Ice team is many of your powerhouses won’t be available until RIGHT before the Elite Four so that’s too bad.

I need to mention Fire type as well but only for Sun and Ultra Sun. There’s been only one game in the history of Pokémon where Fire’s weaknesses are neutralized and that’s Pokémon Black. Sun and US offers a second chance at a fun Fire-type run thanks primarily to the Sun-exclusive Turtonator. If you’re up for it, catch a Torkoal as well because starting this generation it can learn the ability Drought! Which is fantastic when you want to stop those water types! It will still be a difficult run but fun nonetheless. Look out for Charizard, btw, for Island Scan in USUM.

Electric, usually an okay type for a Single Type Run, is blessed with neutral coverage AND an early-available Pokémon via Pichu. Both of these things do not happen often for Electric, much less when they are together. If you’ve been holding out for a good Electric-type game, now’s the chance to try it out with such picks as Magnezone, Vikavolt, and the Alolan variants of Graveler and Raichu.

Finally, we have our usual types that do well for a Single Type Run such as Water, Normal, Steel and so forth. In particular, Water is probably the best type in Pokemon Sun and Moon for a Single Type Run. A huge diversity combined with a great starter makes Water Type stand above the rest. From Gyarados to Aquachnid, from Slowbro to Gastrodon, Sun and Moon gave us a type that can fill many rolls (special defense, physical attacker, status inflictor) and is there with us from the beginning. Pelipper also has the ability Drizzle in this generation which means you can run a Rain team which is quite rare! If you do that, keep an eye out with pokemon with abilities that use the rain. Oh, and pick up an Empoleon via Island Scan in USUM, lord knows how rare this penguin is so catch it if you’re doing a Water or Steel Type run!

What are poor types in Sun and Moon?

image from bulbagarden.net

As expected, some types took a hit and aren’t as efficient in a Single Type Run as in previous games. For instance, it takes a looooong time before you get a Rock Pokémon so that’s a big disadvantage. Bug’s probably the biggest loser here though as it’s great recent record has finally been broken with glaring weaknesses to Rock attacks. This isn’t to say that a Bug-type run is bad as you still get a lot of new and interesting Pokémon to work with such as Golisopod or Vikavolt, but you’ll have to work hard to make sure you aren’t being torn apart by hikers.

Fighting type also took a hit due to FINALLY losing a starter that gains it as a secondary type. It takes awhile before you catch your first Fighting Pokémon (Crabrawler) and your team will have to watch out for Flying Pokémon (usually, a Lucario would watch your back in previous games but not this time around, they’re available after the Elite Four).

What about USUM?
The increase in type variability lifts Bug type out of the slums and makes it a fantastic type again to train, so hooray! Volcarona and Forretress add some great resistances while providing some stellar support and attacking moves. With them plus Vikavolt, Golisopod and Armaldo (US only), this is probably the best Bug team out of all the games, enjoy it! Your other big winner is Psychic Type as it’s Dark weakness is neutralized. Gallade, Gardevoir, AND Malamar all came to the rescue to stop Dark moves!

 

Types

Bug
SM Ideal Team: Vikavolt, Golisopod/Aquachnid, Scolipede (scan), Masquerain, Romblebee
Optional: Parasect, Butterfree, Ledian
First Pokémon: Caterpie, Ledyba, Grubbin, and Spinarak via Route 1
Cover weaknesses? No, Rock is not neutralized in Sun and Moon

USUM Ideal Team: Vikavolt, Golisopod/Aquachnid, Volcarona, Forretress, Armaldo (US)/Masquerain, Romblebee
Optional: Masquerain, Parasect, Butterfree, Ledian, Ariados, Beedril (scan)
First Pokémon: Caterpie, Ledyba, Grubbin, and Spinarak via Route 1
Cover weaknesses? Yes, every type is taken care of

 

Dark
SM Ideal Team: Incineroar, Honchkrow, Muk, Pangoro, Hydregion (scan), Sabeleye
Optional: Krookodile, Absol, Weavile, Raticate, Sharpedo, Mandibuzz (Moon), Umbreon
First Pokémon: Litten via Starter
Cover weaknesses? Yes

USUM Ideal Team: Incineroar, Malamar, Bisharp, Honchkrow, Muk, Pangoro
Optional: Krookodile, Absol, Weavile, Raticate, Sharpedo/Crawdaunt/Greninja (scan), Tyranitar, Scrafty, Sabeleye, Mandibuzz (UM), Umbreon
First Pokémon: Litten via Starter
Cover weaknesses? Yes

 

Dragon
SM Ideal Team: Komomo-o, Garchomp, Exeggutor, Drampa (Moon)/Turtonator (Sun), Salamence, Hydreigon (scan)
Optional: Flygon, Haxorus (scan), Goodra
First Pokémon: Bagon via Route 3 (south of the bridge), shortly before the Melemele Grand Trial
Cover weaknesses? Pokemon Sun is weak to just Dragon moves. Pokemon Moon is weak to Dragon, Ice, and Fairy moves.

USUM Ideal Team: Tyrantrum (US)/Dragalge (UM), Komomo-o, Garchomp, Exeggutor, Drampa (UM)/Turtonator (US), Salamence/Noivern
Optional: Flygon, Haxorus (scan), Goodra
First Pokémon: Noibat in Verdant Cavern after the first trial is completed.
Cover weaknesses? Pokemon Ultra Sun is weak to just Dragon moves.  Pokemon Ultra Moon is weak to Dragon and Ice moves.

 

Electric
SM Ideal Team: Vikavolt, Graveler, Magnezone, Raichu, Oricorio, Electabuzz
Optional: Togedemaru, Jolteon, Lanturn,
First Pokémon: Pichu and Grubbin via Route 1
Cover weaknesses? Yes

USUM Ideal Team: Vikavolt, Graveler, Magnezone, Raichu, Oricorio, Electabuzz
Optional: Togedemaru, Jolteon, Lanturn, Ampharos, Manectric Dedenne
First Pokémon: Pichu and Grubbin via Route 1
Cover weaknesses? Yes

 

Fairy
SM Ideal Team: Primarina, Klefki, Mimikyu, Wigglytuff, Whimsicott (Sun)/Shiinotic, Sylveon
Optional: Granbul, Ninetales (Sun), Carbink, Ribombee, Azumaril (scan)
First Pokémon: Popplio via Starter
Cover weaknesses? Yes

USUM Ideal Team: Primarina, Klefki/Mawile, Mimikyu, Wigglytuff, Whimsicott (US)/Shiinotic, Gardevoir (scan)
Optional: Sylveon, Granbul, Ninetales (US), Carbink, Ribombee, Florges, Dedenne, Mr. Mime
First Pokémon: Popplio via Starter
Cover weaknesses? Yes

 

Fighting
SM Ideal Team: Crabominable, Emboar (scan), Poliwrath, Bewear, Kommo-o, Pangoro
Optional: Primeape, Passimian (Sun), Hariyama
First Pokémon: Crabrawler and Makuhita via Route 2, just before the first trial
Cover weaknesses? No, Flying is not neutralized

USUM Ideal Team: Crabominable, Blaziken (scan), Poliwrath, Bewear, Kommo-o, Pangoro
Optional: Primeape, Passimian (US), Hariyama, Scrafty, Hawlucha, Gallade (scan), Infernape (scan), Chesnaught (scan)
First Pokémon: Crabrawler and Makuhita via Route 2, just before the first trial
Cover weaknesses? No, Flying is not neutralized

 

Fire
SM Ideal Team: Incineroar, Arcanine/Turtonator (Sun), Talonflame, Torkoal, Marowak, Emboar (scan)
Optional: Flareon, Chandelure (scan), Salazzle, Magmar, Typhlosion (scan)
First Pokémon: Litten via Starter
Cover weaknesses? Only in Sun thanks to Turtonator. In Moon, Water is not neutralized. However, you can cut back on Water’s strength if you train a Torkoal which now can learn the ability Drought.

USUM Ideal Team: Incineroar, Arcanine/Turtonator (US), Charizard (scan), Torkoal, Marowak, Blaziken (scan)
Optional: Flareon, Chandelure (scan), Pyroar, Talonflame, Infernape (scan), Delphox (scan), Salazzle, Volcarona, Magmar
First Pokémon: Litten via Starter
Cover weaknesses? Only in Ultra Sun thanks to Turtonator. In Ultra Moon, Water is not neutralized. However, you can cut back on Water’s strength if you train a Torkoal which now can learn the ability Drought.

 

Flying
SM Ideal Team: Toucannon, Gyarados, Drifblim, Aerodactyl, Salamence, Skarmory
Optional: Braviary (Sun)/Mandibuzz (Moon), Crobat, Talonflame, Masquerain, Honchkrow, Minior, Fearow, Staraptor (scan)
First Pokémon: Rowlett via Starter
Cover weaknesses? Yes

USUM Ideal Team: Toucannon, Gyarados, Drifblim, Aerodactyl, Salamence, Skarmory
Optional: Braviary (US)/Mandibuzz (UM), Crobat, Talonflame, Masquerain, Honchkrow, Minior, Xatu, Tropius, Hawlucha, Noivern, Pidgeot, Fearow, Charizard (scan)
First Pokémon: Rowlett via Starter
Cover weaknesses? Yes

 

Ghost
SM Ideal Team: Decidueye, Sableye, Palossand, Aegislash(scan), Marowak, Mimikyu
Optional: Trevanant, Dhelmise, Froslass, Drifblim, Haunter, Chandelure (scan), Mismagius
First Pokémon: Rowlett via Starter
Cover weaknesses? Yes

USUM Ideal Team: Decidueye, Sableye, Palossand, Aegislash(scan), Marowak, Mimikyu
Optional: Trevanant, Dhelmise, Froslass, Drifblim, Haunter, Chandelure (scan), Mismagius, Banette, Jellicent, Golurk
First Pokémon: Rowlett via Starter
Cover weaknesses? Yes

 

Grass
SM Ideal Team: Decidueye, Whimsicott (Sun)/Shiinotic, Exeggutor, Roserade (scan), 
Optional: Victreebel (scan), Dhelmise, Meganium (scan), Parasect, Leafeon
First Pokémon: Rowlet via Starter
Cover weaknesses? No, in Sun and Moon, Grass is weak to Flying and Ice

USUM Ideal Team: Decidueye, Whimsicott (US)/Shiinotic, Torterra (scan), Exeggutor, Venusaur (scan), Cradily (UM)/Chesnaught
Optional: Sceptile, Dhelmise, Tropius, Meganium, Parasect, Chesnaught, Leafeon
First Pokémon: Rowlet via Starter
Cover weaknesses? No, In Ultra Sun, Grass is weak to Flying and Ice. In Ultra Moon, Grass is weak to Ice.

 

Ground
SM Ideal Team: Dugtrio, Gastrodon, Mamoswine (scan), Palossand, Krookodile, Garchomp
Optional: Mudsdale, Flygon, Rhydon (scan), 
First Pokémon: Diglett in Verdant Cavern after completion of first trial
Cover weaknesses? Yes

USUM Ideal Team: Dugtrio, Gastrodon, Mamoswine (scan), Palossand, Krookodile, Garchomp
Optional: Mudsdale, Flygon, Rhydon (scan), Claydol (UM), Golurk (US), Swampert (scan)
First Pokémon: Diglett in Verdant Cavern after completion of first trial
Cover weaknesses? Yes

 

Ice
SM Ideal Team: Froslass, Vanilluxe, Sandslash(Moon)/Ninetales (Sun), Mamoswine (scan), Cloyster/Lapras/Walrein(scan), Crabominable
Optional: Delibird, Glaceon, Weavile
First Pokémon: Crabrawler via Route 2, just before the first trial
Cover weaknesses? Surprisingly yes regardless of version differences.

USUM Ideal Team: Froslass, Vanilluxe, Sandslash(UM)/Ninetales (US), Mamoswine (scan), Cloyster/Lapras/Walrein(scan), Crabominable
Optional: Delibird, Glaceon, Dewgong, Aurorus (UM), Weavile
First Pokémon: Crabrawler via Route 2, just before the first trial
Cover weaknesses? Surprisingly yes regardless of version differences.

 

Normal
SM Ideal Team: Toucannon, Tauros/Drampa (Moon), Snorlax, Wigglytuff, Bewear, Oranguru (Moon)/Miltank
Optional: Raticate, Blissey, Braviary (Sun), Fearow, Staraptor (scan), Slaking (scan)
First Pokémon: Yungoos and Pikipek via Route 1
Cover weaknesses? Yes

USUM Ideal Team: Toucannon, Tauros/Drampa (UM), Snorlax, Wigglytuff, Bewear, Oranguru (UM)/Miltank
Optional: Raticate, Blissey, Pyroar, Pidgeot (scan), Lopunny, Braviary (US), Fearow
First Pokémon: Yungoos, Pikipek, and Buneary via Route 1
Cover weaknesses? Yes

 

Poison
SM Ideal Team: Muk, Crobat, Tentacruel/Toxapex, Salazzle, Roserade (scan), Scolipede (scan)
Optional: Haunter, Victreebel (scan), Ariados, Garbodor
First Pokémon: Spinarak via Route 1
Cover weaknesses? Yes

USUM Ideal Team: Muk, Dragalge (UM)/Ariados/Beedril (scan), Crobat, Tentacruel/Toxapex, Salazzle, Venusaur (scan)
Optional: Haunter, Garbodor, Arbok 
First Pokémon: Spinarak via Route 1
Cover weaknesses? Yes

 

Psychic
SM Ideal Team: Oranguru (Moon)/Gothitelle (scan), Starmie, Espeon, Metagross, Raichu, Slowbro
Optional: Hypno, Kadabra, Bruxish, Oricorio, Reuniclus (scan)
First Pokémon: Pichu via Route 1
Cover weaknesses? No, Dark is not neutralized in Sun and Moon.

USUM Ideal Team: Oranguru (UM)/Malamar, Slowbro/Starmie, Gallade (scan), Metagross, Gardevoir (scan), Delphox (scan)
Optional: Hypno, Kadabra, Bruxish, Oricorio, Xatu, Claydol (UM), Beheeyem, Mr. Mime, Espeon, Raichu
First Pokémon: Pichu via Route 1
Cover weaknesses? Yes, all weaknesses are neutralized.

 

Rock
SM Ideal Team: Rhydon(scan), Aerodactyl, Relicanth/Caracosta(Sun), Bastiodon(Moon)/Probopass, Lycanroc, Carbink
Optional: Sudowoodo, Rampardos (Sun), Archeops (Moon), Graveler, Corsola, Boldore, Minior
First Pokémon: Bonsly via Route 1, after the Grand Trial
Cover weaknesses? Yes

USUM Ideal Team: Tyrantrum (US)/Lycanroc, Rhydon(scan), Tyranitar, Aerodactyl, Relicanth/Caracosta(US), Bastiodon(UM)/Probopass
Optional: Lycanroc, Sudowoodo, Rampardos (US), Archeops (UM), Omastar (US), Kabutops (UM), Graveler, Armaldo (US), Cradily (UM), Carbink, Aurorus (UM), Boldore, Corsola, Minior
First Pokémon: Bonsly via Route 1, after the Grand Trial
Cover weaknesses? Yes

 

Steel
SM Ideal Team: Metagross, Skarmory, Dugtrio, Bastiodon (Moon)/Probopass, Aegislash (scan), Klefki
Optional Pokémon: Sandslash (Moon), Togedemaru, Magnezone
First Pokémon: Magnemite near the Trainer School, before the first trial
Cover weaknesses? Yes

USUM Ideal Team: Metagross, Skarmory, Empoleon (scan), Dugtrio, Bastiodon (Moon)/Probopass, Aegislash (scan)
Optional Pokémon: Sandslash (UM), Togedemaru, Klefki/Mawile, Forretress, Bisharp, Magnezone
First Pokémon: Magnemite near the Trainer School, before the first trial
Cover weaknesses? Yes

 

Water
SM Ideal Team: Primarina, Gyarados/Pelipper, Slowbro/Starmie/Bruxish, Gastrodon, Golisopod/Aquachnid, Lanturn
Optional: Whiscash, Poliwrath, Milotic, Lanturn, Sharpedo, Corsola/Relicanth/Caracosta (Sun), Azumaril (scan), Feraligatr (scan), Cloyster/Lapras/Walrein(scan), Golduck, Vaporeon
First Pokémon: Popplio via Starter
Cover weaknesses? Yes. Also, heads up, Pelipper now knows the ability Drizzle. Take that into account if you want to make a rain team.

USUM Ideal Team: Primarina, Gyarados/Pelipper, Slowbro/Starmie/Bruxish, Gastrodon, Empoleon (scan), Golisopod/Aquachnid
Optional: Whiscash, Poliwrath, Milotic, Lanturn, Sharpedo/Crawdaunt/Greninja (scan), Corsola/Relicanth/Caracosta(US), Omastar (US), Kabutops (UM), Jellicent, Clawitzer, Blastoise (scan), Swampert (scan), Cloyster/Lapras/Walrein(scan), Golduck, Vaporeon
First Pokémon: Popplio via Starter
Cover weaknesses? Yes. Also, heads up, Pelipper now knows the ability Drizzle. Take that into account if you want to make a rain team.

8 thoughts on “Best Single Type Runs in Sun and Moon and USUM

    1. Andy Post author

      Yes! I’ve been busy with other projects on the side but since you’re the first person to ask, I’ll have USUM come out this month. Thanks for reading them!

      Reply
  1. RTSK0929

    For the USUM Dragon, shouldn’t Noibat be the first encounter not Bagon?(as you can get Noibat in Verdant Cavern right after you defeat the totem whereas Bagon is later down in Route 3)

    Reply

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