With the quasi-remake of Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow, “Pokémon Let’s Go!,” coming out this year I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to write another Monotype Run article. As mentioned before, a Monotype (or Single Type) Run in Pokémon is a playthrough where you only train a certain Pokémon type. And boy howdy the Kanto games are probably the most difficult and/or frustrating games in the main series for a Monotype Run. A low diversity and a low amount of available Pokémon make some types almost unplayable. But there’s still some good ones out there so let’s take a look!
- You can only catch and train Pokémon of a certain type. Once you capture your first Pokemon of that type, disregard any previous Pokemon on your team.
- If a Pokémon evolves to said type you may train it but evolve it ASAP.
- No out-of-game trading allowed
- Only Pokémon caught before the Elite Four are counted.
The Normal type had its heyday in Generation 1. Iconic Pokémon like Snorlax, Jigglypuff, and Tauros are all found in these games. Of course, you have Normal Pokémon available immediately at Route 1 like Rattata and Pidgey so right away you have yourself a team (good luck with Brock, though!). What’s more, you have a plethora of Flying/Normal Pokémon like Pidgeot, Dodrio, and Spearow that can protect you from fighters. Normal Pokémon can also learn a diverse array of special moves so you can teach them the likes of Surf, Ice Beam, and Thunderbolt to take down any foe that stands in your way.
From Normal, we quickly fall into a range of types that range from pretty decent to meh. There are tons of Water, Flying, and Poison Pokémon with great move diversity but watch out for their weaknesses. Zapdos makes an Electric type run interesting but be prepared for low movepool diversity. If you’re patient, you can catch a Geodude at Mount Moon and do a Rock type run. The Rock type actually has all its weaknesses covered thanks to the fossil Pokémon but you won’t be playing with a full unique team. And speaking of Geodude, a Ground type run would be another decent run thanks to the Nidorans being available fairly early on (just watch out for Water moves!).
It may not be a shock to you but Dragon, Ghost, and Ice types are just a generally bad idea all together. There’s only one Ghost and Dragon family and they’re available mid and late game respectively (plus you would only be dealing with a Haunter if you didn’t trade). Ice types are a little better as there are some decent Ice Pokémon but they’re available at best mid-game. And God forbid you decide to do a Steel or Dark type run for FireRed and LeafGreen. The only Steel type would be the Magnemite line (catchable after you can surf) and Gamefreak decided, for some reason, you couldn’t evolve an Eevee into an Umbreon so there’s no way you can catch and train a Dark type at all.
Ideal Team: Parasect, Venomoth, Scyther (Red, FireRed, Yellow)/Pinsir (Blue, Leafgreen, Yellow), Butterfree, Beedrill (all versions except Yellow)
First Pokémon: Caterpie and/or Weedle (except Yellow) via Viridian Forest.
Cover weaknesses? No, Flying, Fire, and Rock not neutralized.
Ideal Team: Dragonite
First Pokémon: Dratini via Safari Zone
Covers weaknesses? No, Ice and Dragon not covered
Ideal Team: Raichu/Pikachu, Electrode, Electabuzz (Red, FireRed), Magneton, Jolteon, Zapdos
First Pokémon: Pikachu in Viridian Forest or Pikachu as a starter in Yellow
Covers weaknesses? Yes
Ideal Team: Machoke, Hitmonlee/Hitmonchan, Primeape (all versions except Blue), Poliwrath
First Pokémon: In Yellow, FireRed and LeafGreen it’s Mankey on Route 3 before the first gym. In Red, it’s Mankey via Route 5, after the second gym. In Blue, it’s Machop in the Rock Tunnel after the second gym.
Covers weaknesses? No, Flying or Psychic not neutralized.
Ideal Team: Charizard, Arcanine (Red, FireRed, Yellow)/Ninetales (Blue, LeafGreen, Yellow), Magmar (Blue, LeafGreen), Flareon, Rapidash, Moltres
First Pokémon: Charmander via starter or via Route 24 after Mt. Moon in Yellow.
Covers weaknesses? No, Rock or Water not neutralized.
Ideal Team: Charizard, Dragonite, Aerodactyl, Gyarados, Zapdos, Articuno
Optional: Pidgeot, Fearow, Dodrio, Scyther (Red, FireRed, Yellow), Moltres, Butterfree, Golbat, Farfetch’d
First Pokémon: Charmander via starter or Pidgey (Yellow) via Route 1.
Covers weaknesses? No, Rock is not covered.
Ideal Team: Haunter
First Pokémon: Gastly at Lavender Tower
Covers weaknesses? No, Ghost and Dark (and for that matter Psychic and Ground) are not covered
Ideal Team: Venusaur, Exeggutor, Vileplume (Red, FireRed, Yellow), Victreebel (Blue, LeafGreen, Yellow), Parasect, Tangela
First Pokémon: Bulbasaur via starter or Paras via Mt. Moon in Yellow
Covers weaknesses? No, Flying, Ice, or Fire not neutralized.
Ideal Team: Nidoking, Nidoqueen, Rhydon, Onix, Dugtrio, Sandslash (Blue, LeafGreen, and Yellow)
Optional: Graveler (or Golem if you can evolve it)
First Pokémon: Nidorans in Route 22 for RBY (pre-First Gym) and Route 3 for FRLG (just after first Gym)
Covers weaknesses? No, Water and Ice are not neutralized.
Ideal Team: Lapras, Articuno, Dewgong, Jynx (all versions except Yellow), Cloyster (all versions except LeafGreen)
First Pokémon: In every game except LeafGreen, Shellder via the Super Rod (from Route 12 from a fisherman), attainable after you complete Lavender Tower and move the Snorlax. Shellder can be fished in various areas of Kanto. In LeafGreen, use the Super Rod to fish a Poliwhirl (found in various areas) and trade it to an NPC in Cerulean City for his Jynx.
Covers weaknesses? No, Rock is not neutralized.
Ideal Team: Snorlax, Tauros, Clefable, Pidgeot, Chansey, Kangaskhan
Optional: Porygon, Fearow, Dodrio, Raticate, Persian (Blue, FRLG), Farfetch’d, Lickitung, Wigglytuff, Ditto
First Pokémon: Pidgey and Rattata in Route 1
Covers weaknesses? Yes!
Ideal Team: Venomoth, Golbat, Venusaur, Nidoking, Nidoqueen, Tentacruel
Optional: Vileplume (Red, FireRed, Yellow), Victreebel (Blue, LeafGreen, Yellow), Haunter, Weezing (all versions except Yellow), Arbok (Red, FireRed), Muk
First Pokémon: Bulbasaur via starter or Nidorans via Route 22 in Yellow
Covers weaknesses? No, Psychic not neutralized.
Ideal Team: Hypno, Mr. Mime, Exeggutor, Jynx (all versions except Yellow), Starmie (all versions except FireRed), Slowbro (all versions except FireRed)
First Pokémon: Abra via Route 24 after Mount Moon for all versions except Pokemon Yellow, just before the second gym; in Pokemon Yellow you catch Abra in Route 5 after the second gym.
Covers weaknesses? No, Bug and Ghost are not neutralized.
Ideal Team: Graveler, Rhydon, Onix, Aerodactyl, Omastar/Kabutops
First Pokémon: Geodude at Mount Moon
Covers weaknesses? Surprisingly, yes.
Ideal Team: Magneton
First Pokémon: Magnemite via Power Plant through surfing (need the Soul Badge)
Covers weaknesses? No, Ground, Fighting, and Fire not neutralized.
Ideal Team: Blastoise, Slowbro (all versions except FireRed), Poliwrath, Lapras, Tentacruel, Vaporeon
Optional: Starmie (all versions except FireRed), Gyrados, Omastar/Kabutops, Cloyster (all versions except LeafGreen), Dewgong, Golduck (all versions except LeafGreen), Kingler, Seadra, Seaking
First Pokémon: Squirtle via starter or Magikarp via the Pokecenter just before Mt. Moon in Yellow
Covers weaknesses? No, Electric is not neutralized.
I’m actually doing a poison monotype right now with Venasaur, Weedle, Nidoking, Golbat, Tentacruel, and Haunter
No big, but did you leave out Butterfree, Golbat, and Farfetch’d from the Flying listing on purpose?
Love what you’re doing here. Right now I’m trying to work out what would be the best way to monotype every game set without reusing a type. I’m just at the tip of the iceberg, but your pages have been great.
Thank you! Oh dang I forgot to update that. When I originally published these articles I wasn’t as in depth as I am now. I only included pokemon that I thought was worth your time. But now I have it that every pokemon is listed! I’ll update that.
I like that challenge! My only advice is to pick the challenging types first (ice, dragon, ghost) and leave the better types (water, normal, flying) for the leftover games
For now, I’ve been going about it the opposite way – starting choosing for the hardest games (Kanto, Johto) rather than the hardest types – but I should likely burn the candle from both ends.
Wow, the nostalgia! I realize RBY are missing some of the type balances and other mechanics that make the later games so enjoyable, but what great games to start this wonderful franchise!
Thank you so much for taking your time to make these awesome articles!
Hi, just a small mistake, Mankey is available on route 22 in FR/LG (not sure about Yellow), and not on route 3.
Hello! Thanks for your comment. I double checked two different sources and they say Mankey is available on Route 3 (although they are also found on 22)
Hey, just one quick question. I found that I cannot get a single nidoran on route 22. Am I missing something or was this incorrect? Trying for a ground run.
Good catch! I missed this one. So the Nidorans are available on Route 22 for RBY but this was changed to Route 3 in FRLG just after the first gym. (And then went back to 22 for Let’s Go)
I’m sorry for the inconvenience but thank you for the catch!
I’m glad you told me or I’d have spent forever trying to prove you right lmao