Category Archives: Pokemon Single Type Run

Best Pokemon Games for a Dark Type Run

Update 1/14/2020: This article now contains Pokemon Sword and Shield Teams

Oh the Dark type.  I place it in that special category of types like Psychic, Steel, and Ghost of types you don’t see too often but are pretty cool.  For a type as…prestigious…as Dark, you may be surprise to learn that it’s actually a good type for a Monotype (or Single Type) Run.  Earlier generations not as much but the later games offer some premium teams that you can train and have fun with (what’s funny is that Dark type has the worst type run in the entire series as well as one of the best!).  Dark Pokemon are also just plain fun!  Crawdaunt, Krookodile, Hydreigon, and Scrafty are just a few of the amazing Pokemon you can train.  The games also cover your weaknesses and they offer a very diverse set of moves that make other types envious.  What are those games?  Let’s dive in and find out!

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. 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.
Monotype Chart Version 2.01

Check out the Monotype Chart for different games and their respective types.

The Worst Games

In general, the first four generations will not offer very many, if at all, satisfying Dark-type runs.  Most of these earlier generations see Dark Pokemon in few numbers or appearing late in the games.  Of course, Kanto games are the worst example of this as there are no Dark Pokemon catchable in these regions.  This makes a Dark type run in FireRed and LeafGreen the worst Monotype Run in the entire franchise.  Dang!

It’s not all gloom and doom.  Emerald and Sapphire are actually quite good as they offer a diverse team that covers your weaknesses and you can have two Pokemon that evolve into a dark type by the time you hit your first gym (Poochyena and Nuzleaf) and your neutralizer Sableye before your second gym.  But why play Emerald or Sapphire when you have their remakes…

The Best Games

Starting from Pokemon Black to SWSH you get a series of games that are very high quality for a Dark playthrough (with the exception of Pokemon White due to the absence of Mandibuzz which your mileage may vary for that one).  These games hit all the good marks; an early available Pokemon, a full and diverse team, all the weaknesses are covered, and there’s a nice distribution throughout the routes.  The best games by far are Pokemon USUM followed by XY but ORAS, SM, and SWSH are also really good.

XY and USUM’s diversity is on a whole another level, like God-tier level.  You can catch about 12 different type combinations from each game which is ridiculous.  The amount of Dark Pokemon you can train is insane in X (19), Y (20), US (17), and UM (18).  The Pokemon are also spread nicely throughout the games (and not all bunched up at the end like ORAS).  Finally, you get a starter that evolves into a Dark type which equates these games to a near-perfect Monotype Run.

The reason why I edge USUM over XY is the weakness-neutralization that’s done near the start of the game.  First, your starter, Litten, will be a Fire/Dark type which takes care of Bug and Fairy weaknesses (and SE against Bug types).  Quickly following that you can catch an Inkay near Professor Kukui’s lab which neutralizes the Fighting weakness (Psychic/Dark and it’s SE against Fighting).  These weaknesses are further taken care one after the other with an Alolan Grimer at the Trainer School (Poison/Dark which neutralizes ALL the weaknesses and is SE against Fairies), Murkrow in the Hau’oli Cemetery (Flying/Dark neutralizes Fighting and Bug and SE against the two), and a Sableye at Ten Carat Hill (Ghost/Dark which is immune to Fighting and neutralizes Bug).  That’s FIVE Pokemon on just the first island alone!  And that’s not counting Alolan Raticate, Alolan Persian, and the very rare Zoroark!  You could have a full team by the time you get off the island and take it to the Elite Four with no problem!  Did I say near-perfect run?  Forget that!  A Dark type run in USUM is as perfect of a run as you can get in the entire Pokemon Series.  Don’t pass it up!  I played with this one and it was great!

Dark Teams in Pokemon Games

Pokemon GSC and HGSS
Ideal Team: Murkrow, Umbreon, Tyranitar (HGSS via Safari)
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

 

Pokemon Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, ORAS
Ideal Team:  Crawdaunt/Sharpedo, Honchkrow (ORAS), Krookodile (ORAS), Drapion (ORAS), Hydreigon (ORAS), Scrafty (ORAS)
Optional Pokémon: Absol, Mightyena, Umbreon (ORAS), Zoroark (ORAS), Mega-Gyarados (ORAS), Spiritomb (ORAS), Sabeleye (S, E, AS), Shiftry (R, E, OR)/Cacturne
First Pokémon: Poochyena via Route 101
Covers Weaknesses? Yes for all versions except Pokemon Ruby

 

Pokemon Diamond, Pearl, Platinum
Ideal Team:  Drapion, Weavile
Optional Pokémon: Absol (Platinum), Honchkrow (Diamond), Stuntank (Diamond), Houndoom (Platinum), Umbreon (Platinum)
First Pokémon: Murkrow can be caught at Eterna Forest after the first gym in Diamond. In Pearl, you can catch a Skorupi in the Great Marsh well after the third gym. In Platinum, you can acquire an Eevee in Hearthome City just before the third gym.
Covers Weaknesses? Yes

 

Pokemon Black, White, and B2W2
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

 

Pokemon XY
Ideal Team: Greninja, Pangoro/Scrafty, Malamar, Honchkrow, Houndoom (X)/Bisharp, Drapion/Skuntank
Optional Pokémon: Crawdaunt, Sharpedo, Absol, Umbreon, Sableye, Liepard (Y)/Mightyena (X), Krookodile, Weavile, Tyranitar (Y), Hydreigon (Y), Zoroark
First Pokémon: Froakie via Starter
Covers Weaknesses? Yes

 

Pokemon SM and USUM
SM Ideal Team:
 Incineroar, Honchkrow, Muk, Pangoro, Hydregion (scan), Sabeleye
Optional: Krookodile, Absol, Weavile, Raticate, Sharpedo, Mandibuzz (Moon), Umbreon
First Pokémon: Litten via Starter
Covers 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, Houndoom (US)
First Pokémon: Litten via Starter
Covers Weaknesses? Yes

 

Pokemon Sword and Shield
Ideal Team: Drapion, Grimmsnarl, Malamar, Bisharp, Scrafty (Sword)/Pangoro, Mandibuzz (Shield)/Crawdaunt
Optional Pokémon: Thievul, Liepard, Shiftry (Sword), Obstagoon, Skuntank, Umbreon, Weavile, Sableye (Shield), Morpeko, Tyranitar (Shield), Hydreigon (Sword)
First Pokémon: Nickit by overworld (5%) via Route 1.  Route 2 is more productive with Zigzagoon and Nickit by overworld (2% and 15%) and Purrloin and Seedot (Sword) by random encounters (10% and 20%).
Weaknesses Covered? Yes

 

MVP (Most Valuable Pokemon)

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Poison/Dark Pokemon

Monotype runs can be difficult.  So finding that one Pokemon that can neutralize all your weaknesses is like hitting the jackpot.  The Dark type has three of them.

One of the best type combos in the games, Poison/Dark is a fantastic combination for Dark Pokemon as Poison neutralizes ALL its weaknesses and you get a STAB super-effective move against the Fairies.  Having one of these Pokemon on your team guarantees you a wall against a tricky opponent.  But the other reason why this is #1 on our list is their prevalence.  Drapion, Skuntank, and Alolan Muk are catchable in every game starting from Pokemon Diamond and Pearl onwards with the exception being Pokemon Black and White.  You can find these guys in all the other games before the Elite Four.  These three can also fight your enemies well.  For instance, Alolan Muk can learn Rock Slide and Flamethrower, Drapion can learn Fire Fang, Aerial Ace, Iron Tail, and Rock Slide, and Skuntank can learn Iron Tail and Flamethrower.

Disadvantages?  Hm, well, they sometimes show up late in the games.  Um, Muk and Drapion’s move diversity is good…but Skuntank’s is okay.  They also have a…Ground weakness…?  But it’s just the one so just…not fight against a Steelix?  These Pokemon are also strong (Muk and Drapion have 500 Total Base Stats while Skuntank has 479) but nothing to write home about.  Really, the only major qualm I have is they don’t show up in earlier games, but those games aren’t even that good for a Dark type run to begin with so that’s not the worst thing ever.

Yeah, these guys are sweet.

Available in: DPP (Skuntank in Diamond and Drapion for all), B2W2 (Drapion), XY (Drapion and Skuntank), ORAS (Drapion), SM and USUM (Muk), SWSH (Drapion and Skuntank)

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Umbreon

After the Poison/Dark Pokemon, all other MVPs fight for second place.  They will give you support, diversity, and availability where the previous Pokemon fail.

One of those is Umbreon.  Umbreon is a widely popular Pokemon and the recent, Reddit survey of favorite Pokemon had placed it 6th place (607 people out of 52,725 voted for it) making it the most popular Eevee family member.  But what makes Umbreon special is not its popularity but its availability and stats.  First, Eevee is a very common Pokemon in the games.  And depending on the version, you can catch one in every region (except for the Kanto remakes which is pbbbbbtttt).  Umbreon also has some impressive stats and its highest of which are on its defenses and third highest in its HP.  Umbreon is thus the ideal tank to have if you’re worried about being one-shot by an opponent.

As such, Umbreon is not one for attacking, more for defense and status-inflicting moves.  Even its moveset reflects this as it barely knows any moves that are not Dark type.  Still, Umbreon does its job very well and will be a lovely partner for you through thick and thin.

Available in: GSC, Platinum, HGSS, B2W2, XY, ORAS, SM, USUM, SWSH

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Honchkrow and Mandibuzz

When I’m doing a Dark type run, these are the guys I make a beeline towards as quick as I can.  Flying pairs nicely for Dark type as it neutralizes its Bug and Fighting weakness and provides Super Effective STAB moves to boot.  In fact, if you’re playing any game before Generation 6, having one of these guys on your team will guarantee you weakness coverage since Fairy wasn’t introduced yet.  Because of which, Mandibuzz’s absence in Pokemon White demotes a Dark type run from fantastic to decent.

Since Murkrow was introduced in Generation 2, we get to see these guys pop up all over the place so you’re likely to run into them in later generations.  Murkrow’s evolution, Honchkrow, arrives in Generation 4 providing a strong boost to this family.  In fact, both of these bad birds total base stats are over 500 which is really nice.  Mandibuzz is on the tanky side so if you want an attacker go for Honchkrow.  Honchkrow can even learn Steel Wing so if you want to give Fairies the middle finger you can surprise them with this move.

Your big fault here is the move diversity.  Flying Pokemon in general have poor movepools so Mandibuzz and Honchkrow suffer.  Embarrassingly, Honchkrow’s only strong Flying move by TM or Level Up is Fly and that’s it.  Honchkrow can still learn Psychic and Shadowball though so it’s not all bad news (and Nasty Plot is nice).  However, if you have a move tutor your movepool expands greatly so look out for them in B2W2, USUM, and SWSH.

Available in: GSC (Murkrow), Diamond (Honchkrow), HGSS (Honchkrow), Black and Black 2 (Mandibuzz), XY (Honchkrow), ORAS (Honchkrow and Mandibuzz), SM and USUM (Honchkrow in all and Mandibuzz in Moon and UM), Shield (Mandibuzz)

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Pangoro and Scrafty

Both Scrafty and Pangoro are incredible Pokemon for their own reasons but the main reason why you want to carry them is not their Bug resistance but their move diversity.  Elemental punches, Outrage, Earthquake, X-Scissor, and of course, Fighting moves give you nice coverage.  Pangoro can also learn Bullet Punch by level up which is nice to surprise Fairies.  These guys are stroooong and with their nice abilities you can be an effective attacker (Pangoro) or a tank (Scrafty).  However, watch out for those Fairy weaknesses, they can mess you up!

Available in: BW and B2W2 (Scrafty), XY (Pangoro and Scrafty), ORAS (Scrafty), SM (Pangoro), and USUM (Pangoro and Scrafty), SWSH (Pangoro for both and Scrafty for Sword)

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Your Starter

Greninja and Incineroar are both starters for their respective series, XY for Greninja and SM and USUM for Incineroar.  They are what make their respective games amazing for a Dark type run.  You have your Pokemon and you don’t need to wait and catch one.  This makes them very ideal to have on your team and they’re both so good.  Greninja is fast, learns Water Shuriken, and can learn a variety of moves.  Incineroar’s Fire type neutralizes Bug and Fairy weaknesses, and can learn some strong Fighting moves.  If you’re torn between the two, why not both?  They both appear in Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon!  Really, their only downfall is that they don’t appear in all the games!

Available inXY (Greninja), SM (Incineroar), USUM (Incineroar and Greninja)

sableye-mega

Sabeleye (and if you’re lucky, Spiritomb)

In the old days, Spiritomb and Sabeleye had no weaknesses due to their type combinations.  When Gamefreak made them they were either weak (Sableye) or had very limited movepool selection (Spiritomb).  Now they have a Fairy weakness but unfortunately, neither problem was fixed with the exception of Sableye’s Mega Evolution.  Still, that Ghost type is really nice for them as you have an immunity to Fighting and a neutralization for Bug.  Of the two, I pick Sabeleye as its more common and it learns some nice moves.  It will learn Zen Headbutt and Power Gem via level up so you can counter your foes easily.  Sabeleye is also available usually early on so keep an eye out for it!  Spiritomb, meanwhile, will only show up legitimately in ORAS but why catch him when you got a sweet Mega-Sabeleye?

Available in: Sapphire and Emerald (Sabeleye), XY (Sabeleye), ORAS (Sabeleye in Sapphire and Spiritomb in both), SM and USUM (Sabeleye), Shield (Sableye)

krookodile

Krookodile

The last MVP Pokemon is a bit subjective but hear me out on this.  Although Krookodile does not neutralize any weaknesses, it makes up for it by stats, moves, abilities, and commonality.  Krookodile’s strength is just behind the starters and Umbreon sitting at a BST of 519.  Intimidate pairs well for its average defenses but its Moxie that sells it with Krookodile’s great speed which can make him a Juggernaut.  Krookodile can learn the various Earth-based moves, of course, but it can also learn Outrage, Thunder and Fire Fang, Shadow Claw, and Aqua Tail.  Finally, it is found in every game between Pokemon BW to Pokemon USUM.  Again, another reason why the later games are best for a Dark type run!

Available in: BW, B2W2, XY, ORAS, SM, USUM

Best Pokemon Games for a Bug Type Run

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Update 12/30/2019: The article now includes Sword and Shield

If you were doing a Monotype (or Single Type) Run in Pokémon, would you go for a team with a lot of diversity that shows up late or a team with low diversity that appears very early on? I think, given the options, trainers would choose the latter rather than the former. And if you’re the case, let me suggest training a Bug Team in Pokémon.

Bug Pokémon have one of the highest rates of early availability in the Pokémon games. Not counting the starters, they are just behind Normal and Flying type for their early availability occurrences. As such, they are great if you want to get your team rolling almost right away. However, be prepared for low diversity as a huge number of Bug Pokémon are part Poison or Flying type, types that don’t give them a lot of variability. Bug Pokémon also suffer from an abysmal movepool by primarily favoring Bug, Poison, and Flying moves. If you want to stop Fire, Flying, and Rock Pokémon, you got to have the moves to back it up. Diversity will play a very strong role to make your team great.

Finally, Bug Pokémon, on average, have the worst stats out of all 18 types. Now, before I go any further, Bug Pokémon have a huuuuge disadvantage to this because there are very few Bug Legendaries. Even then, fully evolved Bug Pokémon are relatively weak as they are treated as early Pokémon you can train before moving on to bigger fish. It’s a trade off for their early availability. Thankfully, later generations change this perception which is why you’ll see me more likely recommend later rather than earlier games. As a side note, Generation 5 was probably the best generation for Bug Pokémon as it introduced an incredible range of Pokémon that are actually very strong and diverse. Expect to see a few of these Pokémon in our MVP list.

Let’s take a look at what your team may look.

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 discard 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.
Monotype Chart Version 2.01

Check out the Monotype Chart for different games and their respective types.

Worst Pokémon Games

I want to start with the worst games because frankly, there’s not a lot of necessarily bad games for a Bug type run. The Kanto games are arguably the worst games for a Bug type run as they have abysmal diversity with a rather weak team. Oh, and watch out for Blaine and his fire comrades, they’ll roast you! Jumping a few generations later, Black and White is a mixed bag as the first Bug you can catch is after the second gym, the latest out of any of the games. Even then, you’ll still have great diversity with Volcarona and Galvantula giving you stellar support…you’ll just have to wait a bit before you can catch that Venipede.

 

Best Pokémon Games

The rest of the games honestly range from decent to fantastic; in fact, a lot of them have a “*6A” rating or better as seen in the chart above. Even starting in Generation 2 we have a team that can neutralize weaknesses thanks to Heracross and Shuckle.

Personally, I like Black 2, USUM, and Sword and Shield. The other games are great but these are packing some of the best bugs around! What these games have in common is a slow but steady increase of teammates throughout the game and a nice variety of Pokémon to cover your weak points. Sword and Shield are probably the best as you can catch a whole team of Bug Pokemon who neutralize your weaknesses RIGHT BEFORE THE FIRST GYM!!!  These games also have the rare but coveted Move Tutors who can teach you anything from Scolipede’s Aqua Tail to Forretress’ Stealth Rock. Check out the team combos below.

XY and ORAS are also really good, probably not as stellar as the previous examples but that’s a high bar to reach.  I really like the diversity they offer and the early availability of Pokemon.  ORAS you will have an issue of weak Pokemon near the beginning of the game but that will clear by the middle of the game when you get Heracross and Armaldo, and later with Galvantula, Volcarona, and Forretress.  Both games offer Shedinja as well which neither Black 2 nor USUM has.  Shedinja!  They’re great!  I mean they’re not very strong but they’re super adorable.  Love these cicada ghosts.

 

Bug Teams in Pokemon Games

Pokemon RBY and FRLG
Ideal Team: Parasect, Venomoth, Scyther (Red, FireRed, Yellow)/Pinsir (Blue, Leafgreen, Yellow), Butterfree, Beedrill (all versions except Yellow)
First available Pokémon: Caterpie and/or Weedle (except Yellow) via Viridian Forest.
Cover weaknesses?  No, Flying, Fire, and Rock not neutralized.

 

Pokemon GSC and HGSS
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.
Covers Weaknesses? Yes

 

Pokemon RSE and ORAS
Ideal Team: Dustox/Venomoth (ORAS)/Beedril (ORAS), Heracross, Volcarona (ORAS), Forretress (ORAS), Galvantula (ORAS), Armaldo/Crustle (ORAS)
Optional Pokémon: Pinsir, Beautifly, Shedinja, Ninjask, Leavanny (ORAS), Parasect (ORAS), Kricketune (ORAS)
First Pokémon: Wurmple via Route 101
Covers Weaknesses? Yes

 

Pokemon DPP
Ideal Team: Vepiquen, Wormadam (Steel and Ground form), Heracross, Dustox, Mothim/Yanmega (Platinum)/Scyther (Platinum)
Optional Pokémon: Kricketune, Beautifly
First Pokémon: Kricketot via Route 202 before the first gym
Covers Weaknesses? No, Fire is not neutralized

 

Pokemon BW and B2W2
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/Leavanny, Volcarona
Optional: Karrablast, Shelmet, Pinsir, 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.  At least in Black 2 you don’t need the Hidden Grotto.

 

Pokemon XY
Ideal Team: Vespiquen/Yanmega, Shedinja, Scolipede, Crustle, Heracross (Y), Durant
Optional Pokémon: Beedrill, Butterfree, Viviilon, Ninjask, Masquerain, Pinsir (X), Shuckle, Scyther, Wormadam and its various forms, Mothim
First Pokémon: Scatterbug via Route 2 and Weedle (X)/Caterpie (Y) for Route 2 as well but you can catch them both in both versions at Santalune Forest.
Weaknesses Covered?  Regardless of versions, you’re good!

 

Pokemon SM and USUM
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

 

Pokemon Sword and Shield
Ideal Team: Crustle, Centiskorch, Durant, Orbeetle, Galvantula, Araquanid/Golisopod
Optional Pokémon: Butterfree, Vikavolt, Shedinja, Ninjask, Escavalier (Sword Raid), Accelgor (Shield Raid), Ribombee, Vespiquen, Shuckle, Frosmoth
First Pokémon: Blipbug, Caterpie, Grubbin by random encounters (30%, 15%, and 10%) via Route 1.
Weaknesses Covered? Yes, and it’s taken care of before the first gym!

 

MVP (Most Valuable Pokémon)

250px-214heracross

Heracross

Ah yeah, Heracross, baby! One of the best Bug Pokémon, Heracross offers so much for your team and is just cool overall. What’s more, Heracross is one of the most common Bug Pokémon you’ll likely encounter in a Bug playthrough so be prepared to find and train one. What’s nice is they usually show up about midway through the games so you won’t have to wait until the end to catch one.

Heracross’ signature move, Megahorn, is the move that helped define Generation 2 and was Gamefreak’s answer to the overpowered Psychic Pokémon. After G2, other Pokémon acquired it as well but Heracross started it and is a very strong STAB move to fight against your foes. Of course, Heracross learns other cool moves like its various Fighting moves and Night Slash which is very fine. But check out the TMs; Rock Slide, Earthquake, and Shadow Claw are moves you’ll need to stop your Flying, Rock, and Fire Pokémon (except Shadow Claw, it’s just pretty sweet).

Unfortunately, it’s not all honey sap and apricorns for Heracross. That 4x weakness to Flying moves is brutal and can be a pain to counter. And despite having the most powerful Bug move yet, Heracross is weak to Psychic moves which is a huge bummer. Thankfully, the Rock neutralization makes up for this and Heracross is packed with sufficient Rock-countering moves.

Available in: GSC, RSE, DPP, HGSS, B2W2, Y, ORAS

volcarona

Volcarona

Volcarona is the most powerful, non-Legendary and non-Mega evolved Bug Pokémon (quite a mouthful). Impressive on its own but even more impressive is its unique Fire/Bug typing, which only it and Centiskorch share. As such, Volcarona can learn a plethora of Fire-based attacks and even Psychic via TM. Let me doubly stress this as Volcarona is the ONLY Bug Pokémon that can learn Fire attacks; Fire attacks can hit so many Pokémon super effectively and is a must for your team. The fantastic Quiver Dance is also nice as each use raises your Sp At., Sp Def., and Speed, by one stage each (already raising its monstrous Special Attack stat). Once you up your stats, use Roost (by TM or by Move Tutor), replenish your health, and go to town! If you’re feeling up to it, you can even teach it Hurricane for a very strong Flying move.

Like Heracross, Volcarona has a 4x weakness but this time for Rock. This is very rough, so tread carefully among the Ground, Steel, and Fighting Pokémon. And like a lot of strong Pokémon, Volcarona doesn’t evolve until Level 59 which is incredibly rough as by then you’re knocking on the Elite Four’s door. Thankfully, you can catch a fully evolved Volcarona in B2W2 after the Quake Badge.

Available in: BW, B2W2, ORAS, USUM

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Shuckle, Armaldo, and Crustle

Bug/Rock Pokémon are nice as they neutralize both Flying and Fire and offer a STAB, counter offense to them. How effective this…depends on which one you catch and train! Obviously, Shuckle is super defense heavy so be prepared for long, sluggish battles but the other two offer more offensive-based attacks. I highly recommend getting one of these guys as I can’t tell you how headache inducing it is to fight a bird without anything significant to counter them.

Unfortunately, their move diversity is just okay. They know some Ground moves, maybe a Poison or Ghost move, but you’re not going to get anything more than that, especially for earlier generations. Crustle gets a boost though in Sword and Shield thanks to the TRs but most importantly it can learn Body Press which relies on the user’s Defense and not Attack stat.  For the love of God you should teach it to Crustle as its Defense is 125!!  That’s a really nice move to have on your team.

These guys are also pretty slow so be prepared to take a hit or two before you can finish off an opponent. And ironically, they’re still weak to Rock! Don’t forget about that! I have done that more than a few times.

Available in: GSC (Shuckle), RSE (Armaldo in all three and Shuckle in Emerald), HGSS (Shuckle), BW (Crustle), B2W2 (Crustle and Shuckle), XY (Crustle and Shuckle), ORAS (Armaldo), US (Armaldo), SWSH (Shuckle and Crustle)

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Forretress and Durant (and I guess Trash Wormadam)

It may surprise you how common Bug/Steel types are even when we subtract Scizor, Genesect, and Escavalier. Forretress, Durant, and Wormadam are scattered throughout the games so you’ll probably run into one when you do a Bug run.  Like Rock, Steel neutralizes two of Bug’s three weaknesses, namely Flying and Rock. If you want to play up that defense then look towards Forretress but if you want a speedy offense, look towards Durant instead. Wormadam…is okay, it’s stats are better than other Bug Pokémon but you can do better.

Of course, that 4x Fire weakness is horrendous. You’ll be roasted so bad by any kindlers or circus performers. And, unfortunately, these guys do not have a great move diversity. Move tutors can alleviate this but not by much. But Forretress doesn’t really need move diversity for what it’s trying to pull; it will act as your wall, set up spikes and wear down your opponents. And at least Durant can learn Rock Slide and Shadow Claw by TM.

Available in: GSC (Forretress), E (Forretress), DPP (Wormadam), HGSS (Forretress), BW (Durant), XY (Wormadam, Durant), USUM (Forretress), SWSH (Durant)

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Galvantula and Vikavolt

I love Galvantula, I really do. And although I was sad I couldn’t train one again in Alola, we got a nice counterpart via Vikavolt. The Electric type pairs nicely with Bug as both compliment their strength and weaknesses. In this case, neutralizing that Flying weakness and zapping the birds from the sky! Galvantula also has the ability Compound Eyes which makes your Thunder attacks about 91% accurate which is sooooooooooo goooooooood. Your biggest drawback is your limited movepool. Both Pokémon can learn Electric and Grass moves and that’s about it. Granted, those moves are pretty decent for Bug Pokémon so it’s not too bad.

Available in: BW and B2W2 (Galvantula), ORAS (Galvantula), SM and USUM (Vikavolt), SWSH (Both)

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Golisopod and Araquanid

We end our list with the latecomers whose main fault is their few appearances which will likely change as new games are produced. Both of these Pokémon have the amazing Water/Bug type and really deliver it justice (unlike Surskit introduced four generations earlier). Golisopod is second in natural strength to Volcarona but first in move diversity. Teach your Golisopod a variety of moves (especially if a Move Tutor is involved) such as Rock Slide, Poison Jab, Shadow Claw, and Sucker Punch. Of course, teach it its trademark move, First Impression, to deliver a very strong attack right at the beginning of the battle! Araquanid, meanwhile, makes up for its low move diversity and alright stats for a very nice ability in Water Bubble. Water Bubble halves Fire attacks, doubles Water attacks, and prevents a Pokémon from being burned. This is great! You hardly ever get an actual resistance to Fire attacks for Bug Pokémon! Just remember that you’ll need to nurture your Wimpod as a baby so be patient with it and Araquanid is more defense oriented so don’t expect it to win battles by quick KOs.

Available in: SM and USUM (Both), SWSH (Both)

Best Monotype 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 Monotype (or Single Type) 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 Monotype 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

Monotype Chart Version 2.01

Check out the Monotype Chart for different games and their respective types.

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 Monotype 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/Leavanny, Volcarona
Optional: Karrablast, Shelmet, Pinsir, 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.  At least in Black 2 you don’t need the Hidden Grotto.

 

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, Heracross
First Pokémon: Tepig via starter
Cover weaknesses? Yes
Note: Heads up 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.  Black 2 they are easier to catch and don’t need the Hidden Grotto.

 

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

Update 12/31/2019: This article now includes Sword and Shield

A top-tier Monotype Run (or Single Type) 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.
Monotype Chart Version 2.01

Check out the Monotype Chart for different games and their respective types.

Best Games

The Johto, Hoenn, Sinnoh, Kalos, Alola, and Galar 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, Pokemon XY, and Pokemon SWSH.  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.  Hippowdon has Sand Stream which triggers a sandstorm, because of which you can easily use the Pokemon from these games to take advantage of the storm and go to town on your opponents.  It’s fun!

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!  For you USUM players, use Island Scan and find these respective Pokemon in your game.  How’s that for awesome sauce?

Available in: Pokemon RSE, DPP, ORAS, and USUM (Island Scan)

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 (Flygon), DPP (Garchomp), B2W2 (Flygon), XY (Flygon and Garchomp), SM (Garchomp), USUM (Garchomp and Flygon), and SWSH (Flygon)

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 relatively low game occurrences 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, XY, SWSH

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 very common in the later games so expect to find one from Generation 6 and on.  You can even catch Steelix in some of 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.

They’re all nice in their own way.  Excadrill is probably the MVP of the three due to its sandstorm-related abilities and really powerful attack.  The main thing that’s holding all three of them back would be their limited movepool.  Mainly Fighting, Dark, Ground, Rock, and Steel moves.  Which is not bad but a lot of other Ground Pokemon can learn them.  If you have a Steelix for Sword and Shield teach it Body Press as it has a maaaaaaaaasive Defense stat and can use the move extremely well!

Available in: DPP (Steelix), BW and B2W2 (Excadrill), XY (Excadrill and Steelix), ORAS (Excadrill), SM and USUM (Dugtrio), SWSH (Steelix, Stunfisk, Excadrill)

Image 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

Krookodile has one of the highest occurrences of Ground Type Pokemon which is the biggest reason it’s on this list.  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.  Although that Dark pairing won’t save your team from any weaknesses, it’s still nice to have especially when you have to deal with Psychics or Ghosts.

Available in: BW, B2W2, ORAS, XY, SM, and USUM

Best Monotype Runs for Pokemon X and Y

If I may be frank, Pokémon X and Y are among the best (if not the best) games to do a Monotype (or Single Type) Run.  Pick almost any type and you’re guaranteed a fantastic time, even Ice and Dragon are doable to a degree.  With over 400 Pokemon available in these games lot of types neutralize their weaknesses and can be caught before the first gym.  So what would your team look like? Let’s take a look but first…

Rules

  1.   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.
  2.   If a Pokémon evolves to said type you may train it but evolve it ASAP.
  3.   No trading allowed
  4.   If a Pokémon changes to said type via Mega Evolution you are allowed to train it provided you Mega evolve it every time.
  5.   Only Pokémon caught before the Elite Four are counted.
Monotype Chart Version 2.01

Check out the Monotype Chart for different games and their respective types.

The Best Types

To give a cop-out answer, almost all the types in these games are great for a Monotype Run.  I’m serious, pick a type and you’re bound to have a good time.  But what if you want the very best? In my opinion, the best of the best are Flying, Water, and Fighting.  What these three types have in common are high diversity of strong Pokemon.  You can have multiple variations of each type and easily cover their weaknesses.  The hardest thing about their runs is picking your final six. I myself did a Fighting Run recently and it was tough for me to narrow it down.  You have Chesnaught, Lucario, Toxicroak, Hawlucha, and so forth who can give you a great diversity of moves. Water Pokemon can give you a healthy team for role diversity in terms of defense, support, and attack (and Greninja is always nice).  Flying Type also has a lot of gems, most notably Gliscor, Charizard, and Honchkrow. All of these types are available very early and consistently give you new Pokemon to play with as you progress.

The Worst Types


Like I said before, even the “worst” types in the game are still not bad, especially compared to the other games.  But the
worst would probably be Rock as it’s available relatively late compared to the other types.  The first pokemon you can catch, Dwebble and Binnacle, are available shortly before you get to the second gym.  Still though, this may be one of the best Rock Type runs in Pokemon due to the sheer abundance and diversity of them.  You neutralize your weaknesses right off the bat thanks to the aforementioned Dwebble and Binnacle! So how about that?  Also, when you arrive to Glittering Cave, shortly afterwards, you can catch a Solrock, Lunatone, Onix, and a Rhyhorn! So you go from drought to deluge in almost an instant!  Also, you can’t go wrong with Tyrantrum.

Dragon, Ice, Ghost, and Fire would be the other subpar types in these games but still, not too bad.  For Dragon Pokemon, you get your first Pokemon, whether a Charmander or Axew, after the first gym and you have some weaknesses to watch out for.  Still, this is a pretty solid team. Hydreigon, Garchomp, potentially Mega-Charizard X and Dragalge, and others give you a nice solid, strong team to fight with!  Fire Pokemon also have weaknesses to Rock and, for Y, Water but at least you have Fennekin as your starter so you can play Fire right from the get go.

Ice Pokemon have all their weaknesses covered which is a shock, but your first Pokemon, Eevee, won’t be acquired until after your first gym.  The same goes for Ghost Pokemon who are also available after the first gym but have their weaknesses covered. On Route 6 you can catch a Nincada and a Honedge at the same time which is nice.

 

Type Teams

Bug

Ideal Team: Vespiquen/Yanmega, Shedinja, Scolipede, Crustle, Heracross (Y), Durant

Optional Pokémon: Beedrill, Butterfree, Viviilon, Ninjask, Masquerain, Pinsir (X), Shuckle, Scyther, Wormadam and its various forms, Mothim

First Pokémon: Scatterbug via Route 2 and Weedle (X)/Caterpie (Y) for Route 2 as well but you can catch them both in both versions at Santalune Forest.

Weaknesses Covered?  Regardless of versions, you’re good!

 

Dark

Ideal Team: Greninja, Pangoro/Scrafty, Malamar, Honchkrow, Houndoom (X)/Bisharp, Drapion/Skuntank

Optional Pokémon: Crawdaunt, Sharpedo, Absol, Umbreon, Sableye, Liepard (Y)/Mightyena (X), Krookodile, Weavile, Tyranitar (Y), Hydreigon, Zoroark

First Pokémon: Froakie via Starter

Weaknesses Covered? Yes

 

Dragon

Ideal Team: Goodra, Dragonite, Mega Charizard X (X)/Dragalge (Y), Tyrantrum, Garchomp, Hydreigon

Optional Pokémon: Flygon, Noivern, Haxorus, Salamence, Altaria, Druddigon

First Pokémon: Axew via Connecting Cave after the first gym or Charmander in Lumiose City after the first gym for Pokémon X.

Weaknesses Covered? No, X is weak to Dragon.  Y is weak to Dragon and Ice.

 

Electric

Ideal Team: Heliolisk, Lanturn, Rotom, Magnezone, Ampharos, Stunfisk

Optional Pokémon: Manectric (Y), Jolteon, Pachirisu, Raichu, Emolga, Dedenne, Electrode, all the other Rotom forms

First Pokémon: Pikachu via Santalune Forest, before 1st gym

Weaknesses Covered? Yes

 

Fairy

Ideal Team: Azumarill, Gardevoir, Wigglytuff, Dedenne, Mawile, Granbull

Optional Pokémon: Aromatisse (Y)/Slurpuff (X), Sylveon, Mr. Mime, Carbink, Klefki, Florges

First Pokémon: Azurill via Route 3 before the first gym

Weaknesses Covered? Yes

 

Fighting

Ideal Team: Chesnaught, Lucario, Gallade, Pangoro/Scrafty, Toxicroak, Hawlucha

Optional Pokémon: Medicham, Mienshao, Machoke, Hariyama, Throh (Y)/Sawk (X), Heracross (Y), Poliwrath, Gurdurr

First Pokémon: Chespin via Starter

Weaknesses Covered? Yes

 

Fire

Ideal Team: Delphox, Talonflame, Charizard, Pyroar, Houndoom (X), Chandelure

Optional Pokémon: Simisear, Flareon, Magcargo, Torkoal, Heat Rotom

First Pokémon: Fennekin via Starter

Weaknesses Covered? No, in Pokemon X, Rock is not neutralized.  In Pokemon Y, Water and Rock are not neutralized.

 

Flying

Ideal Team: Talonflame/Charizard, Gyarados, Gliscor, Salamence/Dragonite, Aerodactyl, Honchkrow

Optional Pokémon: Ninjask, Mothim, Butterfree, Swanna, Pelipper, Swellow, Vivillon, Jumpluff, Swoobat, Crobat, Drifblim, Emolga, Hawlucha, Sigilyph, Staraptor, Mantine, Fan Rotom, Skarmory, Noivern, Pidgeot, Altaria, Scyther, Yanmega, Delibird

First Pokémon: Pidgey, Scatterbug, and Fletchling via Route 2

Weaknesses Covered? Yes, and in more ways than one.  You can have several different team matchups and still have your bases covered.

 

Ghost

Ideal Team: Shedinja, Aegislash, Rotom, Golurk, Sableye, Chandelure

Optional Pokémon: Haunter, Phantump/Pumpkaboo, Drifblim, Banette

First Pokémon: Nincada and Honedge via Route 6 after the first gym.

Weaknesses Covered? Yes

 

Grass

Ideal Team: Chesnaught, Venusaur, Ferrothorn, Exeggutor, Ludicolo, Mow Rotom

Optional Pokémon: Wormadam, Simisage, Roserade, Gogoat, Vileplume, Bellossom, Jumpluff, Leafeon, Victreebel, Carnivine, Amoonguss, Phantump/Pumpkaboo, Abomasnow

First Pokémon: Chespin via Starter

Weaknesses Covered? Yes

 

Ground

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

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

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

Weaknesses Covered? Yes, and you can even interchange some of these pokemon and still cover weaknesses fine.

 

Ice

Ideal Team: Aurorus, Frost Rotom, Cloyster (Y)/Lapras, Mamoswine, Jynx, Abomasnow  

Optional Pokémon: Glaceon, Beartic, Avalugg, Weavile, Vanilluxe, Delibird, Cryogonal

First Pokémon:  Eevee via Trade in Camphrier Town after the first gym.

Weaknesses Covered? Yes

 

Normal

Ideal Team: Snorlax, Pidgeot, Tauros/Miltank, Pyroar, Heliolisk, Wigglytuff

Optional Pokémon: Diggersby, Linoone, Swellow, Staraptor, Dodrio, Dunsparce, Delcatty, Farfetch’d, Furfrou, Furret, Audino, Smeargle, Kecleon, Exploud, Zangoose, Bibarel, Fearow, Watchog, Chatot, Noctowl, Kangaskhan, Spinda, Ursaring, Lickilicki, Ditto

First Pokémon: Bunnelby, Fletchling, Zigzagoon, and Pidgey via Route 2, before the first gym

Weaknesses Covered? Yes

 

Poison

Ideal Team: Venusaur, Nidoking/Nidoqueen, Drapion/Skuntank, Scolipede, Toxicroak, Dragalge (Y)/Tentacruel

Optional Pokémon: Beedrill, Roserade, Vileplume, Swalot, Crobat, Seviper, Haunter, Arbok, Amoonguss, Garbodor, Ariados, Qwilfish

First Pokémon: Weedle via Route 2 in X or Santalune Forest in Y.  Both before the first gym

Weaknesses Covered? Yes

 

Psychic

Ideal Team: Delphox, Gardevoir, Gallade, Malamar, Slowbro, Sigilyph

Optional Pokémon: Kadabra, Meowstic, Medicham, Grumpig, Lunatone, Solrock, Swoobat, Espeon, Chimecho, Mr. Mime, Wobbuffet, Reuniclus, Exeggutor, Jynx, Gothitelle, Starmie (X)

First Pokémon: Fennekin via Starter

Weaknesses Covered? Yes

 

Rock

Ideal Team: Tyrantrum, Barbaracle, Crustle, Aerodactyl, Probopass/Aggron (X), Tyranitar (Y)/Lunatone

Optional Pokémon: Solrock, Aurorus, Relicanth, Rhydon, Onix, Boldore, Carbink, Corsola, Graveler, Magcargo, Shuckle, Sudowoodo

First Pokémon: Dwebble and Binacle via Rock Smash in Ambrette Town.  This is well into the game but is still before the second gym. Get the Rock Smash TM from the girl outside of the Aquarium.  You can then get Rhyhorn, Onix, Solrock, and Lunatone almost immediately afterwards in Glittering Cave with the fossils following shortly afterwards.

Weaknesses Covered? Yes

 

Steel

Ideal Team: Lucario, Probopass/Aggron (X), Steelix, Mawile, Ferrothorn, Durant

Optional Pokémon: Wormadam, Klefki, Bisharp, Magnezone, Skarmory

First Pokémon: Burmy via Route 3, before the first gym.  Don’t worry, you’ll get a Riolu soon after via Route 22, also before the first gym.

Weaknesses Covered? Yes and in more ways than one. Ground is covered by Ferrothorn, Durant, and Skarmory.  Fire by Probopass/Aggron. Fighting by Mawile, Durant, Wormadam, and Skarmory.

 

Water

Ideal Team: Greninja, Clawitzer (X)/Cloyster (Y), Gyarados, Slowbro, Quagsire, Ludicolo

Optional Pokémon: Simipour, Bibarel, Crawdaunt, Seaking, Sharpedo, Golduck, Blastoise, Pelipper, Swanna, Wailord, Tentacruel, Starmie (X), Qwilfish, Lapras, Seadra, Relicanth, Vaporeon, Mantine, Octillery, Lanturn, Corsola, Gorebyss, Huntail, Alomomola, Whiscash, Poliwrath, Floatzel, Barbaracle, Azumarill, Wash Rotom

First Pokémon: Froakie via Starter

Weaknesses Covered? Yes, and in more ways than one, you can interchange some of these pokemon for others and still be fine.

The Best Pokemon Games for a Grass Type Run

Update 12/28/2019: This article now includes Sword and Shield.

If you’re looking for a challenging but doable Monotype (or Single Type) Run in Pokémon let me suggest the Grass type. Unlike Ice, Dragon, and other difficult types, Grass Pokémon are (most of the time) available at the game’s beginning due to your starter. As such, you have a companion you can rely on for the entirety of your game regardless of team size or diversity. However, you will have to overcome difficult feats like low movepool and dual-type diversity and a large amount of weaknesses. These difficult feats make Grass a challenging but not impossible run to do. So which games are the best for a Grass type Run? Let’s find out.

First here are the rules for a Monotype Run

  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.
Monotype Chart Version 2.01

Check out the Monotype Chart for different games and their respective types.

The Best Games

The good news is that most of the series’ games will give you a full team of Grass types with the bad news being not all of them will cover your weaknesses. But for you die hard fans I recommend looking at Pokémon Sapphire, Emerald, X, Y, AlphaSapphire, and Shield thanks primarily to this beautiful Pokémon right here.

Yep, Ludicolo’s Grass/Water makes him a valuable Pokémon. I’ll go into Ludicolo later but for now understand that if you want a slick Grass type run, find a game that has this dancing Pokémon in it. If this doesn’t bother you, however, consider Ruby, Omega Ruby, Sword, and any of the Sun/Moon games as they have reasonable diversity with some fun Pokémon.

Given the choice I would choose XY as you have a lot of beautiful Pokémon working together. Your starter Chesnaught gives you a strong fighter and learns Rock Slide to handle Bug Pokémon. Mega Venusaur’s Thick Fat ability neutralizes Fire and Ice weaknesses so if you don’t want Ludicolo then you’re fine. I’d still push for Ludicolo as it can learn Ice Beam which is rare among Grass types (and of course Surf takes care of your Fire Pokémon). Exeggutor and Trevenant learn some unique moves featuring Psychic and Ghost which further aid your run. Finally, Ferrothorn rounds off our team by being a wall and shutting down the like of Ice, Flying, and Poison types. If you’re really worried about Flying Pokémon then get a Mow Rotom and zap them down. These Pokémon (and more) are spread nicely throughout the game you have decent progression of your team.

Worst Games

The worst game in the franchise for a Grass type run is probably Pokémon Yellow, Bulbasaur is not a starter and you can get him only right before the second gym (at least in Pokémon Let’s Go you can get a Bulbasaur in Viridian Forest which is leagues better). Even then the Kanto games are not the best as your dealing with a less-than-full team with half of your team being Grass/Poison which is pretty bad considering Psychics reign supreme in those games.

MVP (Most Valuable Pokémon)

Your Starter

Duh! This is the Pokémon you’ll be hanging out with for all of the game! Doesn’t matter who, you’ll want to take your starter to the Elite Four as they all have great stats. Quite a few of them even have dual typing which further expands their moveset and can counter common weaknesses. Mega Sceptile neutralizes Fire moves (at the cost of 4x weakness to Ice) and Mega Venusaur neutralizes Fire and Ice moves. Torterra can learn Rock and Ground moves while Deceidueye gives you some sweet Ghost moves. Serperior has the rare Coil move which can make it a tank. Meganium is probably the worse out of the bunch but at least you can teach it Earthquake.

Available in: All the games

Ludicolo

As mentioned before, if you want to cover all your Grass’ weaknesses you’ll likely need this pineapple Pokémon.  Ludicolo has okay stats but is boosted by a decent movepool selection. Besides its Water moves it can also learn Ice Beam, Zen Headbutt, and Focus Blast countering the likes of Flying, Poison, and Ice Types (along a host of other Pokémon). If you’re up for it, you can also run a Rain Dance set on it due to its rain abilities (and dampening Fire type’s super effectiveness).

Available In: Sapphire, Emerald, X, Y, AlphaSapphire, Shield

Grass/Poison Pokémon

The dual Grass/Poison combo is the third most common dual type combo and is available in every game. This commonality means you are guaranteed to neutralize Bug and Poison moves. Unfortunately, a Grass/Poison Pokémon for a Grass team is kind of meh due to said abundance and a glaring weakness to Psychic moves. But a lot of these guys can learn Earthquake so it’s not all bad.

Available in: All games

250px-598Ferrothorn

Ferrothorn

Generally speaking, when you do a Monotype run of any type, you’ll want your type paired up with Steel and man is this a fantastic combo! Steel neutralizes Grass’ Poison, Bug, and Flying weaknesses while the favor’s return by neutralizing Ground. I need to doubly stress that Flying weakness as there are very few Grass Pokémon that can do that. Ferrothorn is a fantastic wall thanks to its high Defense and Sp Defense and Iron Barbs ability. Although you won’t get any Spikes or Stealth Rock via leveling up you’ll still have some great Steel moves. Ferrothorn’s biggest flaw might be its lack of move diversity (despite it defending your team against the birds, it doesn’t learn any strong Rock moves to use against them unlike our next candidate…).

Available in: Black/White/B2W2, XY, Sword and Shield

Cradily

Your other major counter against the birds will be Cradily who can actually learn Rock moves but you’ll have to use a TM like Rock Tomb or Rock Slide, bleh! But! At the same time it can learn TM Earthquake! This means Cradily is effective against the like of Fire Pokémon which is quite impressive. However, Cradily suffers from its horrendous speed, its lackluster ability, and a hit-or-miss availability.

Available in: Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, ORAS, X, and USUM

 

Image result for alolan exeggutor

Alolan Exeggutor

By itself, Exeggutor is a fine Pokemon but the real star is its Alolan form.  Alolan Exeggutor boosts the move diversity to a respectable degree.  It’s one of the few Grass types that can learn Flamethrower, which is baller, and it can learn Dragon Hammer which is very rare and can only be learned from A. Exeggutor and Tropius (via breeding).  The Dragon typing it not bad either as it neutralizes the Fire Weakness (but watch out for Ice!).  This neutrality to Fire means you can teach A. Exeggutor Earthquake and go to town against hot opponents.  Also, why wouldn’t you train one?  They’re hilarious!

Available in: SM and USUM, and Let’s Go

 

Mow Rotom

There’s one more Grass Pokémon that resists Flying moves and it’s one I’m sure you may have forgotten! In its base form, Rotom is Ghost/Electric but after Generation 5, its forms change it to different types. Mow Rotom thus is the only Grass/Electric type out there and it’s strange. You got Levitate, some weird resistances here and there, but most importantly you got Thunderbolt. It’s very rare for a Grass Pokemon to learn an Electric move which is why Mow Rotom deserves to be on this list.  Additionally, the form Rotoms are much stronger than regular Rotom and you get a Pokémon with great Defense, Sp. Attack, and Sp. Defense. Now, it’s going to be a pain to get this Rotom but if you love this Pokémon, then it will be worth it!

Available in: XY, Sword and Shield

Best Monotype Runs for Pokemon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum

As I am writing and submitting this blog post, Pokémon Go is releasing Sinnoh Pokémon onto the streets. Now, I love the different generations for one reason or another but Generation 4 seems to have a special place in my heart as that was when I got back into Pokémon after a long hiatus. In particular, Pokémon Platinum ranks as one of my favorite Pokémon games as they took Diamond and Pearl and improved everything about those games making a stellar classic.

But we’re here to determine which types are the best for a Monotype (or Single Type) Run which is a run where you only catch and train one type of Pokémon. And unfortunately, the Sinnoh games are hit or miss. Although more Pokémon are introduced, Diamond and Pearl only have 150 Pokémon available so you get some pretty average runs. Platinum thankfully adds 60 more Pokémon to Sinnoh which makes a lot of types doable or splendid.

I’ve written previous articles on Monotype Run so check those out. But for those who are unfamiliar here are 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.
Monotype Chart Version 2.01

Check out the Monotype Chart for different games and their respective types.

Without further ado, let’s take a look! A list of full team combinations can be found below as well.

 

The Best Types

Starting with the top tier I’d say the Water, Poison, Normal, Psychic, and Fighting types are types you should go for due to their commonality, early availability and type coverage. This is the first time in the series where Poison can defend itself against Psychic attacks thanks to Drapion and Stuntank and when you have Roserade, Toxicroak, Crobat, and Tentacruel backing you up you’re in for a good time. Fighting types meanwhile have a near consistent occurrence-rate as you have Chimchar as your starter and then later you got Medicham, Toxicroak, and, of course, Lucario. Water is splendid as usual but this run is unique as you got Empoleon who is incredibly rare and amazing.

Meanwhile, Platinum improves these types further and make Steel, Ground and Flying types entertaining. Steel already has neutral coverage in Diamond and Pearl but I think it becomes actually fun in Platinum as you can catch a Steelix and train a Magnezone. Oh, but Flying and Ground? Perfection. Thanks tooooo Gliscor! Gliscor’s amazing type combo improves both of those types and come-on, it’s Gliscor, they’re the best.

 

The Worst Types

Like routine, Dragon and Ice are types I strongly urge against. Even with Platinum these types suffer due to late game availability (especially Ice), limited selections, and poor coverage. Additionally, if you’re playing Diamond or Pearl, Fire and Electric are pretty abysmal. Sure, you can catch both types early on but there are hardly any of them. Platinum improves their diversity and makes them more doable but it will definitely not be a walk in the park.   Dark types are also rather dismal if your playing Pearl or Platinum as they’re available mid-game at best and there’s a lackluster diversity. Thankfully, in Diamond, you can catch a Murkrow in Eterna Forest after the first gym.

 

Spiritomb

If you already skipped ahead and looked through the list, you may have noticed Spiritomb is missing from the Dark and Ghost type lists. That’s because he’s one of the hardest non-legendary Pokémon to catch. You need to get the Old Keystone, which itself is not too difficult, but you also have to talk to 32 people in the underground. They have to be actual people too and not NPCs! Thankfully, you’ll only need one other person with Diamond/Pearl/Platinum to do it. However, because you need an additional copy of the game in order to get Spiritomb this technically disqualifies Spiritomb based on our rules. Nevertheless, Dark type still has neutral coverage thanks to Drapion.

 

Team Combinations

Bug

Ideal Team: Vepiquen, Wormadam (Steel and Ground form), Heracross, Dustox, Mothim/Yanmega (Platinum)/Scyther (Platinum)

Optional Pokémon: Kricketune, Beautifly

First Pokémon: Kricketot via Route 202 before the first gym

Covers Weaknesses? No, Fire not neutralized

 

Dark

Ideal Team:  Drapion, Weavile

Optional Pokémon: Absol (Platinum), Honchkrow (Diamond), Stuntank (Diamond), Houndoom (Platinum), Umbreon (Platinum)

First Pokémon: Murkrow can be caught at Eterna Forest after the first gym in Diamond. In Pearl, you can catch a Skorupi in the Great Marsh well after the third gym. In Platinum, you can acquire an Eevee in Hearthome City just before the third gym.

Covers Weaknesses? Yes

 

Dragon

Ideal Team: Garchomp, Dialga (Diamond)/Palkia (Pearl)/Giratina (Platinum), Altaria (Platinum)

First Pokémon: Gible in Wayward Cave. In Diamond and Pearl you need strength which is after the 6th gym. In Platinum, strength is not required and you can catch one after the second gym.

Covers Weaknesses? Only in Diamond thanks to Dialga but in the other two versions, Pearl has a Dragon weakness and Platinum has both a Dragon and Ice weakness

 

Electric

Ideal Team: Luxray, Raichu, Jolteon (Platinum), Rotom (Platinum), Magnezone (Platinum), Electabuzz (Platinum)

Optional Pokémon: Pachirisu

First Pokémon: Shinx in Route 202 before the first gym

Covers Weaknesses? Only in Platinum, in Diamond and Pearl the Ground type is not neutralized.

 

Fairy (technically doesn’t exist yet but if it did…)

Ideal Team: Mr. Mime, Clefable, Azumarill, Gardevoir (Platinum), Togekiss (Platinum)

First Pokémon: Cleffa/Clefairy in Mt Coronet after the second gym

Covers Weaknesses? No, Steel or Poison not covered

 

Fighting

Ideal Team: Infernape, Heracross, Toxicroak, Medicham, Lucario, Gallade (Platinum)

Optional Pokémon: Machoke

First Pokémon: Chimchar via starter

Covers Weaknesses? Yes

 

Fire

Ideal Team: Infernape, Rapidash, Flareon (Platinum), Houndoom (Platinum), Magmar (Platinum)

First Pokémon: Chimchar via starter

Covers Weaknesses? No, Ground and Water not neutralized

 

Flying

Ideal Team: Gyarados, Vespiquen/Yanmega (Platinum), Drifblim, Honchkrow (Diamond), Gliscor (Platinum), Tropius (Platinum)

Optional Pokémon: Staraptor/Noctowl/Chatot/Togekiss (Platinum), Pelipper/Mantine

First Pokémon: Starly via Route 201

Covers Weaknesses? Only in Platinum, in Diamond and Pearl the Electric and Rock types are not neutralized.

 

Ghost

Ideal Team: Haunter, Drifblim, Dusclops (Platinum)/Mismagius (Diamond), Rotom (Platinum), Froslass (Platinum)

Optional Pokémon: Giratina (Platinum)

First Pokémon: Drifloon on Fridays at the Valley Windworks before the second gym

Covers Weaknesses? No, Ghost and Dark moves are not neutralized

 

Grass

Ideal Team: Torterra, Roserade, Wormadam, Abomasnow, Leafeon (Platinum), Tropius (Platinum)

Optional Pokemon: Carnivine

First Pokémon: Turtwig via starter

Covers Weaknesses? No, Fire and Flying not covered

 

Ground

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

Optional Pokémon: Graveler, Onix, Steelix (Platinum), Wormadam

First Pokémon: Turtwig via starter

Covers Weaknesses? Yes

 

Ice

Ideal Team: Abomasnow, Weavile, Glaceon (Platinum), Mammoswine (Platinum), Froslass (Platinum), Glalie (Platinum)

First Pokémon: Snover/Sneasel in Diamond and Pearl on Route 216 after the sixth gym or Eevee in Hearthome City in Platinum just before the third gym.

Covers Weaknesses? No, all versions weak to Fire and Steel. Diamond/Pearl additionally weak to Rock and Fighting

 

Normal

Ideal Team: Starraptor/Togekiss (Platinum), Clefable, Snorlax, Girafarig, Ambipom, Lopunny

Optional Pokémon: Bibarel, Chatot, Noctowl, Blissey, Purugly (Pearl), Lickilicky (Platinum), Porygon (Platinum)

First Pokémon: Starly and Bidoof in Route 201

Covers Weaknesses? Yes

 

Poison

Ideal Team: Roserade, Crobat, Drapion, Toxicroak, Tentacruel, Dustox

Optional Pokémon: Haunter, Stuntank (Diamond)

First Pokémon: Zubat via Route 203 and 204 and Budew via Route 204 both of which can be caught before the first gym

Covers Weaknesses? Yes

 

Psychic

Ideal Team: Mr. Mime/Gardevoir (Platinum), Bronzong, Medicham/Gallade (Platinum), Kadabra, Girafarig, Espeon (Platinum)

Optional Pokémon: Chimecho

First Pokémon: Abra via Route 203 before the first gym

Covers Weaknesses? Yes

 

Rock

Ideal Team: Graveler, Onix, Rampardos (Diamond and Platinum), Bastiodon (Pearl and Platinum)/Probopass (Platinum), Sudowoodo, Rhydon (Platinum)

First Pokémon: Geodude either Oreburgh Gate or Ravaged Path before the first gym

Covers Weaknesses? No, in all versions Water, Ground and Fighting moves are not neutralized. In Diamond, the Rock type is additionally weak to Grass and Steel moves.

 

Steel

Ideal Team: Empoleon, Bastiodon (Pearl and Platinum)/Probopass (Platinum), Bronzong, Lucario, Steelix (Platinum), Magnezone (Platinum)

Optional Pokémon: Dialga (Diamond), Wormadam

First Pokémon: Piplup via starter

Covers Weaknesses? Yes, provided you get a Bronzong that has the Levitate Ability.

 

Water

Ideal Team: Empoleon, Quagsire/Whiscash/Gastrodon, Gyarados/Mantine, Tentacruel, Octillery, Vaporeon (Platinum)

Optional Pokémon: Golduck, Milotic, Octillery, Azumarill, Floatzel, Lumineon, Palkia (Pearl)

First Pokémon: Piplup via Starter

Covers Weaknesses? Yes