Pokémon Gold and Silver remains one of the top rated and favorite games in the Pokémon franchise for fans all around. Their popularity was heavily boosted with Heartgold and Soulsilver which, at the time, modernized the games and brought with it Pokémon that could follow you wherever you go. And now, with the rerelease of Pokémon Gold and Silver on the Virtual Console, I thought it was time to revisit these games but this time ask the crucial question, what are the best types for a Single Type (or Monotype) Run? This article will be similar to my previous two articles on the subject matter so feel free to check those out for more information. As usual, a Single Type Run is a run that involves no trading, only trains Pokémon of a certain type, and is completed when you beat the Champion (or in our case the first Elite Four). Since Heartgold and Soulsilver are very similar to their original counterparts (minus the Pokewalker) they’ll be included as well.
Generation 2 has an advantage over its predecessor as it’s building off of most of the original 150 Pokémon with the addition of a 100 new Pokémon that bring more type diversity. As such, there are a lot more fun runs to choose in these games compared to Red, Blue, Yellow, FireRed, and LeafGreen. The best type for a Single Type Run is probably the Water type. A huge diversity of Water Pokémon available throughout the game makes this a fun type to play as there are many different team combinations. Most notably, this generation introduced Quagsire which neutralizes Water’s weakness to Electricity and can be caught after the first gym. The Flying type is probably the second best as you can catch about ten different type combinations and there’s a new catchable, Flying Pokémon after each gym battle. Other types do very well including Ground, Bug, Normal, Poison, and, if you are generous, Grass and Rock. Check out a list of team combinations below.
The usual suspects for a bad Single Type Run are found here namely Dragon and Ice. Dragon’s especially bad as you can only catch a Dratini after the final gym and you can’t get a Kingdra unless you trade for one. Ice is very funky though as although the weaknesses are neutralized regardless of the game, the first Ice Pokémon you can catch is the Union Cave Lapras after you get the Surf HM (which is activated after the 4th gym). So you’ll be playing awhile without any Ice Pokémon. Ghost is also not that swell as despite Gastly’s pre-first gym availability, the next Ghost Pokémon you can catch is Misdrevous at Mount Silver, so basically at the end of the game!
Since Gold and Silver introduced Dark and Steel it’s no surprise that there is a rather low and late diversity of them in these games. You have some pretty big handicaps as Steelix and Scizor are basically off the table unless you have a trading partner. Then there’s poor Dark as many of the famous Dark Pokémon (Houndoom, Tyranitar, and Sneasel) are available after you beat the Elite Four. Although once you finally catch that Murkrow, you won’t have to worry about Fighting and Bug attacks!
Before I list Type Team Combinations, I should talk about the Pokewalker. As mentioned before, HG and SS are basically the same game as Gold and Silver with some tweaks, graphics update, and other gameplay features which doesn’t affect a route’s Pokémon. But the Pokewalker, God bless this device, makes it so you can catch some Pokémon as early as the first route. Sure, you might have to do a lot of walking but it will be worth it! The Pokewalker makes it so you can catch Electric, Steel, Psychic, Fighting, Dark, Ice, and even Dragon Pokémon right from the get-go! All these Pokémon are Pokémon you can still catch before the Elite Four so you won’t change your team diversity but at least you can get them earlier. This means you can do a feasible Ice type Run as you can catch a Shelldar and a Smoochum fairly early on. If you still have your Pokewalker, give HG and SS a go because a lot of types become more fun for a Single Type Run. I’ll make special mention of the types that are affected by the Pokewalker below.
Ideal Team: Heracross, Venomoth, Shuckle, Parasect, Scyther/Yanmega, Forretress
First Pokémon: Caterpie (G, C, HG)/Weedle (S, C, SS)/Ledyba (S, C, SS)/Spinarak (G, C, HG) in Route 30 before the first gym. Venonat and Paras via Pokewalker.
Covers Weaknesses? Yes
Ideal Team: Murkrow, Umbreon
First Pokémon: Eevee given by Bill in Goldenrod after the third gym or Murkrow via Pokewalker.
Covers Weaknesses? Yes, thanks to Murkrow and Fairy not being introduced yet
Ideal Team: Dragonite
First Pokémon: Dratini via Dragon Den after the eighth gym or bought at the Goldenrod Game Corner after the second gym (or by Pokewalker).
Covers Weaknesses? No
Ideal Team: Raikou, Ampharos (G, S, HG, SS), Magneton, Lanturn, Electrode, Jolteon
First Pokémon: Mareep via Route 32 after first gym (except Crystal which would be Magnemite Route 38 after the second gym) or Magnemite, Elekid, and Voltorb via Pokewalker.
Covers Weaknesses? No, Ground is not neutralized.
Ideal Team: Primeape (C, G, HG)/Machoke, Poliwrath, Heracross, Hitmontop, Hitmonchan, Hitmonlee
First Pokémon: Heracross via headbutting trees after the second gym, Poliwag in Crystal via Route 30 before the first gym, or Machop via Pokewalker.
Covers Weaknesses? Psychic and Flying not neutralized.
Ideal Team: Typhlosion, Magmar, Ninetales (S, SS)/Arcanine (G, C, HG), Flareon, Rapidash, Ho-Oh (G, HG)
First Pokémon: Cyndaquil via starter
Covers Weaknesses? No; Rock, Water, and Ground (besides Ho-Oh) are not covered
Ideal Team: Gyarados, Dragonite, Gligar/Gliscor (G, C, HG)/Skarmory (S, C, SS), Murkrow/Honchkrow, Jumpluff, Xatu
Optional Pokémon: Dodrio, Pidgeot, Spearow, Mantine (G, C, HG), Crobat, Yanma/Yanmega, Scyther
First Pokémon: Pidgey and Hoothoot via Route 29 before the first gym. Pidgey, Doduo, Spearow, Hoothoot, Murkrow, Zubat, and Dratini available via Pokewalker.
Covers Weaknesses? Yes, regardless of your version
Ideal Team: Haunter
First Pokémon: Gastly via Sprout Tower (or at night at Route 30 in Pokémon Crystal) before the first gym; Gastly can also be caught on the Pokewalker.
Covers Weaknesses? No, Ghost and Dark not neutralized
Ideal Team: Meganium, Jumpluff, Victreebel/Vileplume, Exeggutor, Parasect, Tangela/Tangrowth
First Pokémon: Chikorita via starter
Covers Weaknesses? No, Flying, Ice, and Fire are not neutralized.
Ideal Team: Quagsire, Dugtrio, Rhydon, Nidoking, Nidoqueen, Mammoswine/Piloswine, Gligar/Gliscor (G, C, HG)
Optional Pokémon: Graveler, Onix, Donphan (G, C, HG), Sandslash (G, C, HG or by slotmachines in S and SS)
First Pokémon: Geodude, via the southern route of Route 46 before the first gym or Geodude, Onix, the Nidorans, and Wooper via Pokewalker.
Covers Weaknesses? Regardless of your version, all weaknesses are covered
Ideal Team: Piloswine/Mammoswine, Lapras, Dewgong, Cloyster, Jynx, Delibird (S, C, SS)
First Pokémon: Lapras in Union Cave after the fourth gym or Smoochum and Shelldar in Pokewalker
Covers Weaknesses? Surprisingly yes
Ideal Team: Pidgeot, Stantler, Dodrio, Girafarig, Miltank, Tauros
Optional Pokémon: Urasaring (S, C, SS), Fearow, Noctowl, Kangaskhan (via Pokewalker), Lickitung, Ambipom (HG, SS), Persian
First Pokémon: Pidgey, Rattata, Sentret, and Hoothoot via Route 29 before the first gym. Kangaskhan, Doduo, and Spearow via Pokewalker.
Covers Weaknesses? Yes
Ideal Team: Haunter, Venomoth, Tentacruel, Victreebel/Vileplume, Crobat, Nidoking/Nidoqueen
Optional Pokémon: Muk, Weezing, Arbok, Ariados (G, C, HG)
First Pokémon: Weedle (S, C, SS) or Spinarak (G, C, HG) in Route 30. You can also get Grimer, Koffing, Tentacool, Gastly, Zubat, Venonat, Oddish, and the Nidorans on the Pokewalker.
Covers Weaknesses? No, Psychic is not neutralized.
Ideal Team: Espeon, Exeggutor, Girafarig, Xatu, Jynx, Starmie/Slowbro
Optional Pokémon: Lugia (S and SS), Kadabra, Hypno, Wobbufett
First Pokémon: Slowpoke at the Slowpoke Well before the second gym. Abra, Wobbufett, Slowpoke, Smoochum, and Staryu via Pokewalker.
Covers Weaknesses? No, Dark is not neutralized
Ideal Team: Graveler, Rhydon, Shuckle, Sudowoodo, Corsola, Onix
First Pokémon: Geodude via southern portion of Route 46 before the first gym, or Geodude and Onix via Pokewalker.
Covers Weaknesses? Yes
Ideal Team: Magneton, Forretress, Skarmory (S, C, SS)
First Pokémon: Pineco via headbutting trees after the second gym or Magnemite via Pokewalker.
Covers Weaknesses? No, Fire is not neutralized
Ideal Team: Feraligatr, Gyarados, Quagsire, Slowbro/Starmie, Tentacruel, Lanturn
Optional Pokémon: Lapras/Dewgong/Cloyster, Vaporeon, Seaking, Golduck, Azumarill, Kingler, Corsola, Poliwrath, Octillery (S, G, HG, SS), Mantine (G, C, HG)
First Pokémon: Totodile via starter
Covers Weaknesses? Yes