Monthly Archives: May 2019

Best Single Type Runs for Pokemon Black, White, and B2W2

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One of the more controversial games in the series, Pokemon Black and White, and their sequels, Black 2 and White 2, are interesting choices for a Single Type (or Monotype) Run.  Black and White have a limited amount of available Pokemon, harkening back to the Generation 1 days, while their sequels start you off in a completely new part of the map while changing the gym line up.  Some Pokemon in BW don’t even show up until after the Elite Four in B2W2 like the Seismitoad line and the Fossil Pokemon.  As such, you have games that are so different from each other that it’s better to treat the two pairs as separate incarnations (this is why it took me awhile to research and write this article).

This article analyzes every type and breaks down which type is the best and worst to do a Single Type Run in each of the games.  You can read an analysis below as well as every type’s ideal team but first, the rules!

  1. Only Pokémon of a certain type may be caught and trained.
  2. You must catch the first Pokémon available of that type if your starter does not match that type (you’ll then have to disregard that starter).
  3. You may train a Pokémon that evolves to said type as long as you do it ASAP.
  4. No trading allowed.
  5. Only Pokémon caught before Elite Four are counted.

Check out the chart below for a general overview of BW, B2W2, and other Pokemon games

Single Type Chart  Version 1.1

Best and Worst Types for Black and White

Because a lot of types don’t become available until, at the earliest, after the first gym, you’ll make a hard call which types to go for.  Given your limited options, I think the most doable are Water, Normal as the top two, followed by Bug, Ground, Electric, Fighting, and FlyingI think Water comes in first place thanks to a full team with decent type coverage.  You have your starter, of course, who’s there from the get go.  Swanna and Seismitoad tag team and neutralize your weaknesses early on and Jellicent gives some move diversity that is very appreciative.  More than that, you’re getting Pokemon after Pokemon throughout the game and do not have to wait for the very end unlike Fighting and Steel type.

I’m going to skip over Normal and talk about Bug and Electric because they stand out to me.  Pokemon Black and White are honestly very nice games for a Bug Type run and are among the best in the series for it.  Every team member has a different secondary type and brings something unique to the table.  The team members alone should be enough to satisfy with Volcarona, Scolipede, Leavanny, Durant, Galvantula, and Crustle all being good Pokemon.  Shifting gears, Black and White are one of the few decent games for an Electric run thanks to Eelektross, Emolga, and Galvantula boosting your team.

The worst types are definitely Dragon and Ice followed by Ghost and Poison.  Dragon, Ice, and Ghost suffer from mid-to-late game availability.  Poison, Ice, and Dragon lack some hard diversity and a full team.  And all of them are wide open to their weaknesses.  And Ice is just, woof, just bad.  Just three Pokemon with no secondary typing.  Not even Red and Blue gave Ice such a crap setup.

volcarona

Best and Worst Types for Black 2 and White 2

The B2W2 games are going to give you type runs that are otherwise hard to pull off in other games.  I think Steel, Electric, Fighting, Bug (B2), and Flying are great followed by Poison, Normal and Water. All these types have early availability, consistent introduction of new Pokemon, and diverse teams (especially Flying).  Steel and Electric need a special shout out.  You can catch a Riolu and Magnemite early on and slowly build your team from there.  The cherry on top comes from the Metagross line as you can catch one before the Elite Four (something that rarely happens!).  Electric type, meanwhile, further improves BW and adds Mareep before the first gym, and then Magnemite before the second, both of which add diversity to your team and give some new moves and defenses.

Quick shoutout to Flying, normally a restricted type, finds itself very diverse as you can have anything from Crobat to Vespiquen, Altaria to Gliscor, and Sigilyph to Swanna.  It’s very diverse and my “Ideal Team” listed below shouldn’t be taken as gospel as you can do a lot of combinations and still have a solid set.

Unfortunately, despite B2W2 adding diverse Pokemon, we see a major problem of your first Pokemon coming in mid game.  The worst of which is Dragon, Rock, Ghost, and Ground which all have Pokemon showing up after the third gym.  This is a real shame because these teams are really nice!  But damn do you have to wait awhile and nothing kills the mood of a Single Type Run when it takes a couple of hours at least to get to your first Pokemon.  Also, Dragon and Ghost still can’t cover their weaknesses so you’re wide open to a variety of attacks.

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Types

Bug
BW
Ideal Team: Scolipede, Leavanny, Crustle, Galvantula, Volcarona, Durant
Optional: Karrablast, Shelmet
First Pokémon: Sewaddle and Venipede via Pinwheel forest after second gym
Cover weaknesses? Yes

B2W2
Ideal Team: Galvantula, Scolipede, Crustle, Vespiquen, Heracross (B2)/Leavanny, Volcarona
Optional: Karrablast, Shelmet, Pinsir (W2), Shuckle
First Pokémon: Sewaddle via Route 20 before the first gym
Cover weaknesses?  Yes.  HOWEVER, be warned that in White 2 you can only get a Heracross via Hidden Grotto in Lostlorn Forest and even then it has a 0.75% of appearing.  So technically you can cover your weaknesses it would just be very annoying.

 

Dark
BW
Ideal Team: Liepard, Scrafty, Krookodile, Bisharp, Mandibuzz (B), Hydreigon
First Pokémon: Purrloin via Route 2 before the first gym
Cover weaknesses? Only for Pokemon Black, in Pokemon White Fighting is not neutralized.

B2W2
Ideal Team: Hydreigon, Mandibuzz (B2)/Absol, Krookodile, Scrafty, Drapion, Bisharp
Optional: Liepard, Umbreon
First Pokémon: Purrloin via Route 19 before the first gym
Cover weaknesses? Yes, thanks to Drapion

 

Dragon
BW
Ideal Team: Haxorus, Druddigon, Hydreigon, Zekrom (W)/Reshiram (B)
First Pokémon: Axew, via Mistralton Cave, after the sixth gym
Cover weaknesses?  No, neither version neutralizes Dragon moves.  Pokemon White has an additional weakness to Ice.

B2W2
Ideal Team: Flygon, Haxorus, Altaria, Druddigon, Hydreigon
First Pokémon: Trapinch via Desert Resort after third gym
Cover weaknesses? No, watch out for Ice and Dragon attacks

 

Electric
BW
Ideal Team: Zebstrika, Emolga, Galvantula, Eelektross, Stunfisk, Zekrom (W)
First Pokémon: Blitzle via Route 3 after the first gym
Cover weaknesses? Yes

B2W2
Ideal Team: Ampharos, Magnezone, Electabuzz (W2)/Jolteon, Emolga, Galvantula, Eelektross
Optional: Zebstrika
First Pokémon: Mareep via Floccesy Ranch before first gym
Cover weaknesses? Yes

 

Fighting
BW
Ideal Team: Emboar, Scrafty, Cobalion, Virizion, Terrakion, Mienshao
Optional: Sawk (B)/Throh (W), Gurdurr
First Pokémon: Tepig via starter
Cover weaknesses?  Yes

B2W2
Ideal Team: Emboar, Lucario/Cobalion, Scrafty, Mienshao, Virizion, Terrakion
Optional: Gurdurr, Sawk, Throh
First Pokémon: Tepig via starter
Cover weaknesses? Yes

 

Fire
BW
Ideal Team: Emboar, Darmanitan, Chandelure, Volcarona, Heatmor, Reshiram (B)
Optional: Simisear
First Pokémon: Tepig via starter
Cover weaknesses? Only in Pokemon Black and even then it happens at the very end when you get Reshiram.  Otherwise you’re exposed to Water moves in both versions.

B2W2
Ideal Team: Emboar, Arcanine, Magmar (B2)/Camerupt (W2), Darmanitan, Volcarona, Chandelure
Optional: Flareon, Simisear, Darmanitan
First Pokémon: Tepig via starter
Cover weaknesses? No, Water is not neutralized

 

Flying
BW
Ideal Team: Unfezant, Sigilyph, Archeops, Emolga, Swanna, Braviary (W)/Mandibuzz (B)
Optional: Swoobat
First Pokémon: Pidove via Route 3 after the first gym
Cover weaknesses? No, Rock is not neutralized.

B2W2
Ideal Team: Skarmory, Gliscor, Emolga, Altaria, Swanna, Sigilyph
Optional: Swoobat, Crobat, Unfezant, Drifblim, Mantine, Pelipper, Mandibuzz (B2)/Braviary (W2), Delibird, Vespiquen
First Pokémon: Pidove via Route 20 before the first gym
Cover weaknesses? Yes

 

Ghost
BW
Ideal Team: Cofagrigus, Chandelure, Jellicent, Golurk
First Pokémon: Yamask via Relic Castle after the third gym
Cover weaknesses? No, Dark and Ghost moves not neutralized.

B2W2
Ideal Team: Cofagrigus, Chandelure, Banette, Drifblim, Jellicent, Golurk
First Pokémon: Yamask via Relic Castle after the third gym
Cover weaknesses? No, Dark and Ghost moves not neutralized

 

Grass
BW
Ideal Team: Serperior, Ferrothorn, Virizion, Leavanny, Amoongus, Sawsbuck
Optional: Maractus, Lilligant, Whimsicott, Simisage
First Pokemon: Snivy via Starter
Cover weaknesses?   No, Fire is not neutralized

B2W2
Ideal Team: Serperior, Leavanny, Virizion, Roserade, Sawsbuck, Ferrothorn
Optional: Sunflora, Whimsicott, Lilligant, Simisage, Amoongus, Tangrowth, Maractus, Leafeon
First Pokémon: Snivy via starter
Cover weaknesses? No, Fire is not neutralized

Note: you can trade a Cottonee for a Petilil and vice versa in BW and B2W2 despite version exclusiveness.

 

Ground
BW
Ideal Team: Excadrill, Seismitoad, Stunfisk, Krookodile, Golurk
First Pokémon: Drilbur via Wellspring Cave after first gym
Cover weaknesses?  Yes

B2W2
Ideal Team: Krookodile, Camerupt (W2)/Golurk, Flygon, Gliscor, Excadrill, Claydol
Optional: Sandslash, Onix
First Pokémon: Sandile via Route 4 after third gym
Cover weaknesses? Yes

 

Ice
BW
Ideal Team: Vanilluxe, Beartic, Cryogonal
First Pokémon: Vanillite, via Cold Storage, shortly before the fifth gym
Cover weaknesses?  No, Fire, Fighting, Steel, and Rock are not neutralized.

B2W2
Ideal Team: Beartic, Walrein, Lapras, Mamoswine, Weavile, Delibird
Optional: Vanilluxe, Dewgong, Glaceon
First Pokémon: Eevee via Castelia Park before the third gym
Cover weaknesses? Yes

 

Normal
BW
Ideal Team: Stoutland, Unfezant, Cinccino, Audino, Sawsbuck, Bouffalant
Optional: Watchog, Braviary (W)
First Pokémon: Patrat and Lillipup via Route 1 before first gym
Cover weaknesses?  Yes

B2W2
Ideal Team: Stoutland, Unfezant, Clefable, Sawsbuck, Bouffalant, Zangoose
Optional: Watchog, Braviary (W2), Dunsparce, Raticate, Delcatty (W2)/Lopunny (B2), Eevee, Cinccino, Castform, Audino, Ditto
First Pokémon: Lillipup via Route 19 before the first gym
Cover weaknesses?  Yes

 

Poison
BW
Ideal Team: Scolipede, Garbodor, Amoongus
First Pokémon: Venipede via Pinwheel Forest after second gym
Cover weaknesses?  No, Psychic is not neutralized.

B2W2
Ideal Team: Scolipede, Weezing, Muk, Crobat, Drapion, Roserade
Optional: Amoongus, Seviper, Garbodor
First Pokémon: Venipede via Route 20 in dark grass after the first gym
Cover weaknesses? Yes

 

Psychic
BW
Ideal Team: Musharna, Swoobat, Sigilyph, Gothitelle (B)/Reuniclus (W), Beheeyem
First Pokémon: Munna via Dreamyard right after the first gym
Cover weaknesses?  No, Dark and Ghost are not neutralized.

B2W2
Ideal Team: Sigilyph, Gothitelle (B2)/Reuniclus (W2), Starmie, Claydol, Metagross, Solrock
Optional: Grumpig (B2), Swoobat, Lunatone, Beheeyem, Espeon
First Pokémon: Eevee via Castelia Park before the third gym
Cover weaknesses? Yes

 

Rock
BW
Ideal Team: Boldore, Crustle, Carracosta, Terrakion
Optional: Archeops
First Pokémon: Roggenrola via Wellspring Cave after first gym
Cover weaknesses? Yes, if you pick Carracosta over Archeops as it gets rid of the Steel and Water weakness.

B2W2
Ideal Team: Crustle, Corsola, Terrakion, Aggron, Probopass, Solrock
Optional: Onix, Gigalith, Lunatone, Shuckle
First Pokémon: Dwebble via Desert Resort after third gym
Cover weaknesses? Yes

Note: You can get a Gigalith from a hiker on Route 7 in B2W2

 

Steel
BW
Ideal Team: Excadrill, Klinklang, Ferrothron, Cobalion, Bisharp, Durant
First Pokémon: Drilbur via Wellspring Cave after first gym
Cover weaknesses? No, Fire is not neutralized.

B2W2
Ideal Team: Lucario/Cobalion, Metagross, Excadrill, Aggron, Ferrothorn, Skarmory
Optional Pokémon: Klinklang, Probopass, Bisharp, Magnezone
First Pokémon: Riolu via Floccesy Ranch before first gym
Cover weaknesses? Yes

 

Water
BW
Ideal Team: Samurott, Seismitoad, Carracosta, Swanna, Alomomola, Jellicent
Optional: Simipour, Basculin
First Pokémon: Oshawott via starter
Cover weaknesses? Yes

B2W2
Ideal Team: Octillery, Walrein, Jellicent, Vaporeon, Swanna, Starmie
Optional: Samurott, Simipour, Basculin, Azumarill, Mantine, Wailord, Golduck, Pelipper, Lapras, Floatzel, Corsola, Dewgong
First Pokémon: Oshawott via starter
Cover weaknesses? No, Electric is not neutralized

Best Pokemon Games for a Ground Type Run

Image result for ground pokemon

A top-tier Single Type Run (or Monotype) in Pokemon would be the Ground Type.  There are few types that have a better record in delivering solid team after solid team in the main line games.  Even going back to Pokemon Red and Blue you can craft a team that is sturdy and strong like its namesake.

What makes Ground Type such a fun run to do is the plentiful type combos that neutralize two of its three weaknesses (i.e., Water, Grass, Fire, Dragon, and Steel).  There are a lot of Water/Ground Pokemon while Steel and Dragon duos make a surprisingly strong showing in the later games.  Ironically, some of these duos trade these resistances for 4x weaknesses!  Once you have one of these combos you can pair it with another Pokemon and finish off the last weakness easily.

Only a few games have a poor Ground Type run so in this article, we’re going to cover which games are the very best for a Ground Type run and which Pokemon you should look out for.

As usual the rules are as follows.  Check out the chart as well for a quick look at each of the games.

  1. Only Pokémon of a certain type may be caught and trained.
  2. You must catch the first Pokémon available of that type if your starter does not match that type (you’ll then have to disregard that starter).
  3. You may train a Pokémon that evolves to said type as long as you do it ASAP.
  4. No trading allowed.
  5. Mega Pokémon count as long as you Mega Evolve them as soon as they appear on the battlefield.
  6. Only Pokémon caught before Elite Four are counted.

Single Type Chart  Version 1.1

Best Games

The Johto, Hoenn, Sinnoh, Kalos, and Alola games all have very nice teams.  The Sun and Moon games you’ll have to wait a little while before your first Pokemon (Alolan Diglett) but it still has a nice set with Palossand being a great new addition.  I also like the “classic” feel in Pokemon Gold with Quagsire, the Nidos, and Gligar making a strong team.  Pokemon ORAS also gives a lot of a late game Ground diversity like Excadrill and it’s nice to have Mudkip right from the getgo.

Subjectively, the best games are probably Pokemon Platinum and Pokemon X and Y.  This is thanks to their huge diversity, early availability and more importantly, Hippowdon!  We’ll talk about Hippowdon in a moment but this hippo makes Ground Type runs extra fun and extra sweet.  Here is your possible team matchup for these games.

Pokemon Platinum

Ideal Team: Torterra, Hippowdon, Garchomp, Gastrodon/Quagsire/Whiscash, Gliscor, Mammoswine

Optional Pokémon: Graveler, Onix, Steelix

First Pokémon: Turtwig via starter

 

Pokemon X and Y

Ideal Team: Hippowdon, Nidoqueen/Nidoking, Gliscor, Golurk, Steelix, Garchomp

Optional Pokémon: Diggersby, Marowak, Dugtrio, Rhydon, Quagsire, Graveler, Stunfisk, Whiscash, Mamoswine, Sandslash, Krookodile

First Pokémon: Bunnelby via Route 2, before the first gym

 

Worst Games

I would say Pokemon BW and B2W2 are probably the worst games in the series for a Ground Type Run.  In BW there are less than six unique Pokemon on your team and in B2W2 the first Pokemon you can catch is well after the second gym. I should say though that all the BW games still neutralize their weaknesses despite the flaws.  The Kanto games are also just okay.  Sure the Nidos are there at the beginning to help you out but after that you have a lot of Ground/Rocks to train which compounds on your Water and Grass weaknesses.  It’s doable but be prepared for some headaches!

 

MVP (Most Valuable Pokemon)

Image result for gastrodon
Water/Ground Pokemon

The Water/Ground combo is one of the best type duos in Pokemon.  Ground’s immunity to Electric attacks and Water’s resistances to itself and Ice make it an acceptable addition to any team.  Water/Ground Pokemon are also quite common and are available pre-Elite Four in every game after Pokemon Yellow except FRLG and B2W2.  I just love these guys in general.  They have a great move diversity and they have some fantastic abilities like Gastrodon’s Storm Drain and Quagsire’s Water Absorb (which further nullify that Water weakness).

Your big issue is that 4x weakness to Grass attacks.  THANKFULLY, and surprisingly, every Pokemon game has a Ground type that neutralizes its Grass weakness.  Whether it’s a Nidoran, Gliscor, or Excadrill, you’ll find a Pokemon that can cover your bases.

Available in: All games except Pokemon RBY, FRLG, B2W2

Image result for torterraImage result for swampert

Torterra and Swampert

A lot of starters evolve into dual types and thankfully, you’ll have a few games with a Ground-based starter.  Enter Mudkip and Turtwig.  Both starters hail from vastly different regions but evolve into your Ground Pokemon.  They also give you handy resistances to a couple of your weaknesses.  Of the two, Torterra seems to get the short end of the stick as there are a lot of weaknesses to watch out for but it makes up for it with its sweet design and recovery moves.  If you have ORAS, you can mega evolve your Swampert which is a nice bonus.  It’s also great that both of these starters are in games with diverse Ground Pokemon so you took your first easy step for your fantastic Ground team!

Available in: Pokemon RSE, DPP, and ORAS

Trapinch artwork by Ken SugimoriGible artwork by Ken Sugimori

Ground/Dragon Pokemon

Starting in Generation 3 onwards you can find a Ground/Dragon Pokemon in every main series game except FRLG, HGSS, and BW (a track record only exceeded by Ground/Water).  Although the 4x weakness to Ice stinks, the resistances to Fire and neutralization of Water and Grass are appreciated.  Flygon’s Levitate and Garchomp’s Sand Veil are both useful abilities for your team.  Garchomp is also the strongest, non-Legendary, non-Mega, Ground Pokemon so you’ll have the powerhouse on your team.

The real reason why they should be on your team though is there incredible move diversity, especially for move tutoring and TMs.  They can learn at least a dozen strong moves from different types ranging from Crunch to Flamethrower, from Bug Buzz to Shadow Claw, and from Thunderpunch to Steel Wing.  This is essential for your team!  You may be packing a lot of Rock, Steel, and Fighting moves but you’ll be severely lacking in other categories.  Definitely get one of these two.  They’re awesome.

However, besides the 4x Ice weakness, the two other major issues with these guys are their mid to late game availability and their evolution delay.  You’ll be waiting quite awhile before you get some good moves so expect to carry these guys and babysit them for awhile.

Available in: RSE, DPP, B2W2, XY, SM, and USUM

Image result for hippowdon

Hippowdon

I’m highly bias towards Hippowdon so take this entry for what you will but I think this beautiful creature is a very important member in any Ground team.  Sand Stream automatically generates a Sandstorm upon battle entry and, if you’re playing before Generation 6, will go on forever until it’s changed for a different weather.  As such, you can incorporate many Ground Pokemon’s abilities that rely on Sandstorm into your team very nicely!  Garchomp and Gliscor have Sand Veil, and Excadrill has Sand Force and Sand Rush.  Sandstorm’s boost towards Rock’s defenses makes it appealing and you can whittle down your opponent’s teams!

Hippowdon does fantastically well as a tank, I have trained one several times in competitive teams for this reason alone.  Teach it Roar and combine it with Stealth Rock via TM in Gen 4 and you have an annoying beast!  Crunch and a STAB Earthquake rounds things off well with your Pokemon.  Hippowdon is also among the strongest Ground Pokemon so it’s going to be pulling its weight well.

Hippowdon does suffer from low game occurrences (Diamond, Pearl, Platinum, X, and Y) so the chances of you running into one are unfortunately slim.  Hippowdon additionally suffers from low movepool diversity.  This is not surprising given its monotype nature.  Speaking of which, Hippowdon can’t bestow any additional resistances or immunities to your team so the other members will have to pick up the slack.

But come on, Sand Stream, it more than makes up for it.

Available in: DPP and XY

Steelix artwork by Ken SugimoriExcadrill artwork by Ken SugimoriImage result for alolan dugtrio

Ground/Steel Pokemon

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that I placed the Steel type on this list.  They are super defensive and eliminate Ground’s two of three weaknesses without trading it with a 4x weakness.  They are also, surprisingly, common in the later games as you can catch a Steelix in DPP and XY, Excadrill in BW, B2W2, XY, and ORAS, and Alolan Dugtrio in SM and USUM.

Yes, you heard me right, you can catch a Steelix in those games.  You don’t need another game to trade an Onix with a Steel Coat you can get one yourself!  I find this very curious but I’m not complaining!  Alolan Diglet is also among the first Ground Pokemon you can get in the Sun and Moon games so you’re starting strong with a fast attacker.

Available in: DPP, BW, B2W2, XY, ORAS, SM, USUMImage result for Nidoking and nidoqueen

Nidoqueen and Nidoking

Bless these rabbit-like, therapsids, for they are glorious and fun to train.  Besides the obvious neutralization of Grass weakness, the Nidos are fantastic as they are among the best Ground Pokemon for move diversity, rivaled only by the likes of Garchomp, Flygon, and Golurk.  They also have decent Special Attack stats, something that other Ground Pokemon lack, and thus are equipped for that Ice Beam, Thunderbolt, or Flamethrower you have prepared for them.  Of course, a Poison STAB means you can handle your Grass Pokemon well (and it pairs nicely with Quagsire in the Johto games) (and don’t forget about Nidoking’s Megahorn too!).

Your biggest drawback is their rarity which almost kicked them off this list.  Although the Nidos save the Kanto games from being almost unplayable for a Ground Type Run, they don’t make many other appearances.  Thankfully, GSC and especially XY are great Ground Type runs and its partially thanks for their inclusions.  Depending on your game, you may additionally have trouble finding a Moon Rock to evolve your respective Nidoran so be prepared for that.

Available in: RBY, GSC, FRLG, HGSS, XY

 

Image result for krookodile

Krookodile

As of this article’s release, Krookodile has a perfect track record in appearances since it debuted in Pokemon Black and White.  You can catch them in B2W2, ORAS, XY, SM, and USUM which is incredible!  But Krookodile’s appearance on this list is not just because of its commonality.  It’s also here because of its strength and diversity.  Besides it’s own STAB moves, it can learn strong Dragon, Fighting, Water, Ghost, and Poison moves giving it diversity that other Ground Pokemon lack.  It’s Intimidate and Moxie abilities are also top notch and sets itself well for a great revenge killer or wall.

Available in: B2W2 and onwards