Update 12/5/2019-This article now contains links to my other Single Type Run articles located at the bottom of this page. I also added more details on the Pokewalker routes.
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 Monotype (or Single Type) Run?
The full list of teams are located below but first, let’s set some rules
- Only Pokémon of a certain type may be caught and trained.
- You must catch the first Pokémon available of that type if your starter does not match that type (you’ll then have to discard that starter).
- You may train a Pokémon that evolves to said type as long as you do it ASAP.
- No trading allowed.
- Only Pokémon caught before Elite Four are counted.
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. If you have HGSS, evolve that Togepi and get a Togekiss for some sweet elemental attacks! Other types do very well including Ground, Bug, Normal, Poison, and, if you are generous, Grass, Psychic and Rock. Check out the 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 Misdreavus at Mount Silver, so basically at the end of the game! However, if you’re playing HGSS, you can catch one in the Safari Zone but still…not that good of a team.
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 (also you can catch a Larvitar in HGSS via the Safari)!
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, Arceus 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 Monotype 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
Optional: Butterfree (G, C, HG), Beedril (S, C, SS), Ledian (S, C, SS), Ariados (G, C, HG)
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 in Noisy Forest at 700+ steps.
Covers Weaknesses? Yes
Ideal Team: Murkrow, Umbreon, Tyranitar (HGSS via Safari)
First Pokémon: Eevee given by Bill in Goldenrod after the third gym or Murkrow via Pokewalker in Suburban Area at 1000+ steps.
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. Via Pokewalker in Blue Lake at 5000+ steps.
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). Via Pokewalker Magnemite (Suburban Area at 1000+ steps), Elekid (Suburban Area at 5000+ steps), and Voltorb (Town Outskirts at 3000+ steps) are available.
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 (Rugged Road at 1000+ steps and Dim Cave at 0+ steps).
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/Togekiss (HGSS), Xatu
Optional Pokémon: Dodrio, Pidgeot, Spearow, Mantine (G, C, HG), Crobat, Yanma/Yanmega, Scyther, Ledian, Butterfree (G, C, HG), Farfetch’d, Ho-Oh (G, HG), Lugia (S, SS)
First Pokémon: Pidgey and Hoothoot via Route 29 before the first gym.
Via Pokewalker Pidgey (Refreshing Field at 0+ steps), Doduo (Refreshing Field at 2000+ steps), Spearow (Noisy Forest at 0+ steps), Hoothoot (Rugged Field at 0+ steps and Suburban Area at 0+ steps), Murkrow (Suburban Area at 1000+ steps), Zubat (Dim Cave at 0+ steps), and Dratini (Blue Lake at 5000+ steps) are available.
Covers Weaknesses? Yes, regardless of your version
Ideal Team: Haunter, Misdreavus (HGSS via Safari Zone)
First Pokémon: Gastly via Sprout Tower (or at night via Route 30 in Crystal) before the first gym; Gastly can also be caught on the Pokewalker in Dim Cave at 1000+ steps.
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 (G, 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 and in Crystal you can catch a Phanpy and Geodude on Route 46.
Via Pokewalker Geodude (Rugged Road in 0+ steps), Onix (Rugged Road in 4000+ steps or Dim Cave in 1000+ steps), the Nidorans (Refreshing Field in 500+ steps), and Wooper (Beautiful Beach in 0+ steps) are available.
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 (Dim Cave at 5000+ steps) and Shelldar (Blue Lake at 500+ steps) via Pokewalker
Covers Weaknesses? Surprisingly yes
Ideal Team: Pidgeot, Clefable (HGSS via Safari)/Wigglytuff, Dodrio/Togekiss (HGSS), Girafarig, Miltank, Tauros
Optional Pokémon: Stantler, Urasaring (S, C, SS), Fearow, Noctowl, Kangaskhan (HGSS via Pokewalker and Safari Zone), Lickitung/Lickilicki (HGSS), Ambipom (HGSS)/Aipom, Persian, Furret, Raticate, Ditto, Dunsparce, Farfetch’d
First Pokémon: Pidgey, Rattata, Sentret, and Hoothoot via Route 29 before the first gym. Via Pokewalker Pidgey (Refreshing Field at 0+ steps), Doduo (Refreshing Field at 2000+ steps), Spearow (Noisy Forest at 0+ steps), Hoothoot (Rugged Field at 0+ steps and Suburban Area at 0+ steps), Rattata (Suburban Area and Town Outskirts at 0+ steps), Sentret (Refreshing Field at 0+ steps), Furret (Town Outskirts at 0+ steps), and Kangaskhan (Refreshing Field at 3000+ steps) are available.
Covers Weaknesses? Yes
Ideal Team: Haunter, Venomoth, Tentacruel, Victreebel/Vileplume, Crobat, Nidoking/Nidoqueen
Optional Pokémon: Muk, Weezing, Arbok, Ariados (G, C, HG), Beedril (S, C, SS)
First Pokémon: Weedle (S, C, SS) or Spinarak (G, C, HG) in Route 30.
Via Pokewalker Grimer and Koffing (Town Outskirts at 1500+ steps), Tentacool (Blue Lake at 0+ steps), Gastly (Dim Cave at 1000+ steps), Zubat (Dim Cave at 0+ steps), Venonat (Noisy Forest at 700+ steps), Oddish (Noisy Forest at 0+ steps), Bellsprout (Noisy Forest at 3000+ steps) and the Nidorans (Refreshing Field in 500+ steps) are available.
Covers Weaknesses? No, Psychic is not neutralized.
Ideal Team: Espeon, Exeggutor, Girafarig, Xatu, Jynx, Starmie/Slowbro
Optional Pokémon: Lugia (S, SS), Kadabra, Hypno, Wobbufett, Mr. Mime (HGSS via Safari), Unown
First Pokémon: Unown at the Ruins of Alph before the first gym; after Unown you can get a Slowpoke at the Slowpoke well before the second gym.
Via Pokewalker Abra (Town Outskirts at 5000+ steps), Wobbufett (Noisy Forest at 4000+ steps), Slowpoke (Beautiful Beach at 1000+ steps), Smoochum (Dim Cave at 5000+ steps), and Staryu (Beautiful Beach at 5000+ steps) are available.
Covers Weaknesses? No, Dark is not neutralized
Ideal Team: Tyranitar (HGSS via Safari), Rhydon, Shuckle, Sudowoodo, Corsola, Onix
Optional Pokemon: Graveler
First Pokémon: Geodude via southern portion of Route 46 before the first gym; via Pokewalker Geodude (Rugged Road in 0+ steps) and Onix (Rugged Road in 4000+ steps or Dim Cave in 1000+ steps) are available.
Covers Weaknesses? Yes
Ideal Team: Magneton, Forretress, Skarmory (S, C, SS)
First Pokémon: Pineco via headbutting trees after the second gym or Magnemite in Suburban Area at 1000+ steps 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
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