Tag Archives: Dark Type

Best Pokemon Games for a Dark Type Run

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 Single Type Run (or a Monotype 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.

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 Single Type 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 USUM 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 like I said, Pokemon Black, B2W2, ORAS, and SM are also good.

XY and USUM’s diversity is on a whole another level, like S-tier level.  You can catch about 12 different type combinations from each game which is ridiculous.  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 Single Type 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
First Pokémon: Litten via Starter
Covers Weaknesses? Yes

 

MVP (Most Valuable Pokemon)

452
Poison/Dark Pokemon

Single Type 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 (excluding Alola Muk as you can find it very near the beginning of the game).  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)

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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

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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 and USUM.

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)

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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)

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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)

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 from Pokemon BW up 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

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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/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

The Best Single Type 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 Single Type (or Monotype) 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.
Single Type Chart  Version 1.1

Click on this chart for a quick and easy look at XY and other Pokemon games

The Best Types

To give a cop-out answer, almost all the types in these games are great for a Single Type 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 (Y), 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,

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, Rotom (Oven form)

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, , 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, Lawnmower 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

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, Frig 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

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: Lunatone, 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 Pokemon Types with the Best Move Diversity of 70 BP or Greater

TL:DR-I looked at every fully evolved, non-legendary, Pokémon and noted who can learn moves with 70 BP or greater. I then divided the Pokémon up to their respective types to determine which types had the greatest move diversity. Dragon type Pokémon had the greatest move diversity averaging 11 types per Dragon Pokémon, followed by Fighting (10.39), and Normal (9.93). Grass Pokémon had the least diversity learning on average 6.67 types per Grass Pokémon followed by Electric (6.92), then Bug (6.95). On average, 99% of Pokémon from each type can learn a Normal type move of 70 BP or greater. The next most common type was Ground and Steel (61%). On the opposite end, on average 20% of Pokémon from each type could learn a Fairy move of 70 BP or greater, followed by Dragon (25%), then Flying (28%).

I think a lot of Pokémon fans, whether consciously or subconsciously, are aware how some Pokémon types have a greater move diversity than others. Grass Pokémon don’t seem to expand beyond Grass and Poison moves, Ground Pokémon can learn a lot of Rock moves and vice versa, and Fighting types can learn a lot of elemental punches. But I was wondering, well, which Pokémon does have the greatest move diversity? And furthermore, what are the most common types a Pokémon will likely to learn? This is the question that my project hopefully answers.

Or at least begin to answer because there are a lot of ways to document a Pokémon’s movepool. Going through every different move would be exhausting on my part and will probably lead to a not very satisfying answer. To streamline the process I look at only moves with a 70 base power (BP) or greater a Pokémon can legitimately learn through Leveling Up, TM, Egg, Tutor, or even Transfer. I want to focus on attacking moves as that was what I was most interested in and I wanted to additionally focus on strong moves as most of the time, on a general playthrough of the games, people would probably focus on these moves and get rid of the weaker ones. So this takes away obvious moves like Scratch to Aerial Ace but I also weeded out certain multi-hit moves like Double Slap (which doesn’t guarantee 70+ power), Rollout (which takes time to get to 70+) but left in Dual Chop (as 40 x 2 = 80). I also did not take into account a Pokémon’s ability (like Technician) as that would cause additional headaches and would wobble the playing field a bit.

I also eliminated Legendary Pokémon as they can heavily tilt certain types to much higher type distribution. Types like Dragon, Psychic, and Flying can get an unfair advantage from these heavy hitters while Poison and Bug Pokémon are more likely to miss out. Eliminating these Legendary Pokémon gives us a better idea what the “average” Pokémon can learn.

The information was provided from Pokémon Database with all the information coming from Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon.

Results

Type Versatility Chart Website (EXCEL Download)

Check out the document for the detailed reports but basically, about 99% of Pokémon from each type can learn a Normal move with 70 BP or greater (this is thanks to moves like Façade, Slash, Hyper Beam and more). Much further behind, with very similar scores, is Steel and Ground with 61%. Steel type moves get a boost from random moves like Steel Strike or Iron Head that seem to pepper random Pokémon. 74% of Flying Pokémon can learn a Steel move thanks to Steel Wing (and in fact, if it wasn’t for the Bug Pokémon, that percentage would be much higher). The main reason why Steel is so popular is Iron Tail which has an incredible range of Tutor-potential Pokémon. Meanwhile, Ground type is popular thanks to the ubiquitous Earthquake TM. If you’re a large Pokémon, chances are, you can learn Earthquake! Smaller Pokémon can learn Dig and the new Stomping Tantrum has an incredible range of Tutor-potential Pokémon. Random Pokémon like Delcatty, Komala, and Dodrio can now learn strong Ground moves because of which.

On the flip side, about 20% of Pokémon from each type can learn a Fairy move; this is probably because Fairy was introduced only recently and there are only three moves, Moonblast, Dazzling Gleam, and Play Rough that are common enough for a Pokémon to learn. Psychic types have the second highest rate of Fairy moves at 42% which is abysmal! So if it feels like you’re having a hard time trying to find a Pokémon that learns a Fairy move, that’s not you, it’s the games. The second rarest move, Dragon, comes in at 25% because of the extreme rarity of its moves (that are not unique to legendaries). The main reason why they’re peaking at 25% is because of Outrage and Dual Chop. Outrage can be learned via Move Tutor and TM by Pokémon with anger issues; Dual Chop can be learned via Move Tutor by Pokémon with fists. To further illustrate my point, 57% of Fighting Pokémon can learn a Dragon Move of 70 BP or greater primarily because of Dual Chop. Bringing up the rear, we have some Pokémon that can learn Dragon Pulse via Move Tutor or TM like Clawitzer.

Dragon Pokémon had the highest move diversity by far with an average of 11 moves per Pokémon while Grass had the fewest with 6.67 per Pokémon. Let’s take a look at each of these types going from most to least diversity along with each type’s best and worst Pokémon.

Dragon

Average Moves per Dragon: 11

Highest Type Learned besides itself and Normal: Steel at 100%

Lowest Type: Fairy at 18%

Most Diverse: Drampa with 16 moves

Least Diverse: Kingdra with 7 moves

Thoughts: Dragon Pokémon being the #1 most diverse type I think should not surprise many people (Drampa is the #1 most diverse Pokémon according to the rules here, we’ll see it again in the Normal section!). They are very strong and they aren’t specified for one gimmick or purpose. So again and again we see Ground, Fire, Rock, and Fighting moves dominate the Dragon Pokémon. The fact that they broke 11 moves as a mean is pretty amazing and only four of the 17 Dragon Pokémon have less than 10 different type moves. They are powerful creatures that can control powerful forces.

Most interesting is Dragon’s 100% rating for Steel moves; what’s going on here? Well a few things give Dragon a perfect Steel rating. First is Steel Wing and the plethora of Dragon/Flying Pokémon. Additionally, Iron Tail makes a strong showing along with Iron Head. This is fantastic given Dragon’s Fairy weakness. Many times, a Dragon can learn more than one Steel Move which further illustrates how diverse they are.

It’s pretty funny how only 18% of Dragons can learn a Fairy move. Man do they dislike the Fae! I mean, Fairy IS the rarest type but still. I guess not many Dragons like to Play Rough or are feeling Dazzling Gleam. Only three Dragons can learn a Fairy move; Altaria, Drampa, and Dragalge. I’m not surprised about Altaria or Drampa but Dragalge? Really??? But yes! They get it by, of all things, breeding with an Azumaril who knows Play Rough. Hilarious to think they’re compatible!

 

Fighting

Average Moves per Fighting: 10.39

Highest Type Learned besides itself and Normal: Rock at 100%

Lowest type: Fairy at 4%

Most Diverse: Gallade and Pangoro with 15 moves

Least Diverse: Hitmontop with 5

Thoughts: Another 100%? How exciting! But yes, every Fighting Pokémon can learn a Rock move thanks to Rock Slide which works well against the birds. Additionally, Fighting has such a superb move distribution and not just because of the elemental punches. Earthquake, Dual Chop, and Throat Chop are just some examples. In fact, 82% of Fighting Pokémon can learn a Poison move thanks to Poison Jab.

Again, no surprise on the rarity of Fairy moves, only Gallade can learn a Fairy move. Going up the ladder, only five Fighting Pokémon can learn a Flying move, Hawlucha, Blaziken, Hitmonlee, Toxicroak, and Mienshao and they ALL know Bounce! I’m honestly surprised other Fighters don’t jump on the Bounce-wagon.

 

Normal

Average Moves per Normal: 9.93

Highest Type Learned besides itself: Steel at 80%

Lowest type: Dragon at 20%

Most Diverse: Drampa with 16 moves

Least Diverse: Smeargle and Ditto at 0 moves

Thoughts: I honestly thought Normal would be #1 but Fighting and Dragon had a very strong showing and Normal suffered from some weird Pokémon (no judgment). But regardless, the Normal type had the most consistent move percentages out of any type. Its standard deviation, which shows how diverse a certain set of data points are, was the lowest among all 18 types. To better illustrate what I mean, look at Normal’s graph and now look at Bug, Grass, or Electric’s graph. In those charts we’re seeing a few highs and a lot of lows but for Normal, we’re seeing a lot of type percentages that are near each other. This is showing us that Normal Pokémon don’t really favor one type or another besides itself. Yes, there are a few lows but overall, pretty good consistency.

What this data is telling us is what we all knew for years. Normal Pokémon can learn a huge diversity of moves. They may be lacking in certain areas but overall, when you train a Normal Pokémon you’re more than likely be able to teach it quite a few different type moves.

 

Dark

Average Moves per Dark: 9.52

Highest Type Learned besides itself and Normal: Ghost at 76%

Lowest type: Fairy at 21%

Most Diverse: Pangoro with 15 moves

Least Diverse: Spiritomb with 4 moves

Thoughts: I’m honestly shocked that Dark ranks #4. I thought Ghost or Psychic would be up here and Dark would be further down. But Dark consistently ranked over 50% for many types like Ghost (Shadow Ball/Claw), Psychic (Psychic), Bug (U-turn and X-Scissor), Poison (Poison Jab), Steel (Iron Tail), and Ground (Earthquake and Dig). Dark Pokémon also have a lot of type and design variability creating a great concoction to learn a variety of moves. Even it’s lowest type, Fairy at 21%, is still better than the previous three types’ worst move type. I’m not surprised though that Ghost is its third highest as these two types seem almost interchangeable at times. Shadow Claw and Ball fit in neatly with the grim, moody, and nocturnal aspect of Dark Pokémon.

Spiritomb sitting with just four moves shocks me. You’d think that Gamefreak would take pity after Fairy was introduced and give Spiritomb a few more moves. As of right now, it can learn Dark, Psychic, Ghost, and Normal above 70 BP and that’s it. Hey Pangoro, wanna give up one of your moves? I think you got enough!

 

Psychic

Average Moves per Psychic: 9.00

Highest Type Learned besides itself and Normal: Bug at 89%

Lowest type: Dragon at 3%

Most Diverse: Gallade with 15 moves

Least Diverse: Wobbufett and Unown with 0 moves

Thoughts: The first thing that stands out here is Psychic’s huge fondness for Bug moves. That’s very odd and I would have never predicted that. But here’s the thing, Signal Beam is the most common move a Psychic Pokémon can learn. Why? I don’t know!   It’s one of those odd attacks that just found a niche in another type’s home. Following Bug we have Ghost (78%) thanks to Shadow Ball, and Grass (67%) with Energy Ball and Giga Drain. I honestly though Ghost would be much higher but you have the likes of Bruxish, Alolan Raichu, Exeggutor, and, of all things, Malamar who do not learn any strong Ghost moves.

Fairy is also a weird type to talk about. First, only 42% of Psychics can learn a Fairy move but that’s the highest percentage an attacker can learn after Fairy itself! I’m honestly shocked it’s not higher, I thought these two types go hand in hand. Still though, Moonblast and Dazzling Gleam are popular moves that fit well in the Psychic mold.

Also, no surprise, that Dragon is Psychic’s worst move. Psychic Pokémon don’t really scream DRACONIC to me. And because we eliminated the likes of Lati@s we lost some good sources for Dragon moves. Only Gallade can learn a Dragon move and even then, it’s Dual Chop.

 

Ground

Average Moves per Ground: 8.77

Highest Type Learned besides itself and Normal: Rock at 97%

Lowest type: Fairy at 6%

Most Diverse: Rhyperior and Nidoking with 14 moves

Least Diverse: Mudsdale with 5 moves

Thoughts: We reached the point in our rankings where the types on average learn less than half of available type moves. We’ll start to see types that are either all or nothing for certain learned move types. We are still treading pretty well though and in fact, it will be a gentle decline in stats before we hit the last four types.

You may be wondering who is the one Ground Pokémon who can’t learn a Rock move, well it’s Wormadam-Sand Cloak variant. This is such a weird exception that you can basically guarantee that whoever you’re training, your Ground Pokémon can learn a Rock move whether it’s Rock Slide, Head Smash, or Stone Edge. Good on them! No wonder Flying Pokémon have a hard time surviving. Steel and Fighting moves are very common as well which further protect Ground Pokémon from any potential weaknesses.

There are only two Ground Pokémon that can learn a Fairy move, Donphan with Play Rough and Claydol with Dazzling Gleam. That’s it. This is probably because there’s only one family line of Ground/Psychic and no lines that are Ground/Fairy. I myself trained a Donphan with Play Rough thanks to ORAS’ cool catching mechanism and that was fun.

 

Fire

Average Moves per Fire: 8.73

Highest Type Learned besides itself and Normal: Grass at 85%

Lowest type: Water, Ice, and Fairy at 4%

Most Diverse: Charizard, Infernape, and Alolan Marowak with 12 moves

Least Diverse: Magcargo with 5 moves

Thoughts: We reached the middle tier but I’m still surprised how high Fire is on our list. I thought it would be Grass moves and that’s it. But you have that and a strong showing of Ground and Steel moves and more than half of Fire Pokémon can learn a powerful Electric move as well. Back to Grass, we have Solar Beam and Energy Ball that are easy additions to Fire Pokémon thanks to the moves’ sun reliance. Watch out Water Pokémon!

Water, Ice, and Fairy were each learned by one unique Fire Pokémon. Delphox (our Fire/Psychic) can learn Dazzling Gleam via TM. Emboar can learn Scald via TM, which really, why the heck can’t other Fire Pokémon learn Scald??? As far as I can tell, there’s nothing really special about Emboar and steam…it’s odd.

Even odder, and I’m going to get flak from this, is Alolan Marowak, the only Fire type to learn a strong Ice move by a technicality. You see, if you teach a Cubone in Red, Blue, or Yellow Ice Beam by TM, you can transfer it over via Pokémon Bank to the Alola Region and then evolve it into an Alolan Marowak. And it still has the Ice Beam move! These move transfers happen very rarely and Cubone is one of them, thankfully. Other than that, there is no way you can teach a normal Fire Pokémon a strong Ice move.

 

Rock

Average Moves per Rock: 8.53

Highest Type Learned besides itself and Normal: Ground at 100%

Lowest type: Flying at 10%

Most Diverse: Rhyperior with 14 moves

Least Diverse: Carbink, Magcargo, and Shuckle with 5 moves

Thoughts: We’re moving into territory where the main type can learn a few types very well but the rest are okay or poor. Rock shows this in spades as Ground and Steel (63%) are common moves for it. Rock’s 100% Ground coverage I think reflects these two types very close relationship (to the point that it can seem interchangeable). Even weaker, smaller Rock Pokémon, like Carbink, can still learn moves like Stomping Tantrum. I’m honestly more surprised that Steel isn’t more common.

The Rock Pokémon overlooked Flying moves even though this would help them against their weaknesses. Archeops and Aerodactyl are your two main Flying-attackers but Relicanth snuck in with a Bounce move that it probably shouldn’t have.

 

Ghost

Average Moves per Ghost: 8.14

Highest Type Learned besides itself and Normal: Psychic at 86%

Lowest type: Dragon at 5%

Most Diverse: Golurk with 13 moves

Least Diverse: Spiritomb with 4 moves

Thoughts: Ghost and Psychic Pokémon are basically buddies as they can learn each other’s moves (only Aegislash, Decidueye, and Dhelmise cannot learn any strong Psychic moves). We also see a very high rate of Dark (82%) moves and a surprisingly strong showing from Grass (64%) moves (Energy Ball and Giga Drain are favorites here). Also, Golurk’s Ground/Ghost pairing gives it sooo much variability in its moveset. The humanoid shape throws in some elemental punches as well.

Alolan Marowak is the only Ghost Pokémon that can learn a Dragon move (Outrage). There are also only two Ghost Pokémon that can learn a strong Water move, Jellicent (obviously) and Dhelmise (which makes sense given its shipwreck esthetic).

 

Poison

Average Moves per Poison: 8.07

Highest Type Learned besides itself and Normal: Grass and Dark at 66%

Lowest type: Flying at 17%

Most Diverse: Nidoking with 14 moves

Least Diverse: Toxapex with 4 moves

Thoughts: I honestly thought Grass and Dark would be a bit higher for Poison Pokémon given their predilection towards malicious and parasitic tendencies. On that thought, here’s the problem with Poison Pokémon move diversity; a lot of them are paired with Grass or Bug Pokémon which don’t have the best move selection. Most Poison Pokémon that have a great move selection are those that do not belong to this type excepting Scolipede’s 10 moves. Even pure types like Weezing, Arbok, or Muk have a better move selection than those dual types.

That said, Toxapex is the footnote to this idea. Good lord does it not have a good attacking movepool which is fine given its preference towards defense. Other defensive Pokémon have this trait as well. And come on Bug/Poison Pokémon, a lot of you have wings! Use them to learn Flying moves! Ariados has a Flying move and it’s Bounce for Pete’s sake!

 

Water

Average Moves per Water: 8.05

Highest Type Learned besides itself and Normal: Ice at 98%

Lowest type: Fire at 8%

Most Diverse: Slowking with 14 moves

Least Diverse: Pyukumuku with 0 moves

Thoughts: The sheer diversity of Water Pokémon buoyant this type as well as it could but it still suffers from low movepool selections.   Regardless, all but Pyukumuku could learn a Normal, Water, and Ice move giving Water Pokémon a leg up against Grass types. Over half can learn a strong Ground move as well, furthering their type coverage (we have a lot of large Water Pokémon and quite a bit Water/Ground types).

There are five Water Pokémon that can learn a Fire move and they’re Octillery, Slowbro, Slowking, Gyrados, and Ludicolo. Ludicolo is the one that surprises me the most out of this bunch. I guess pineapples have fiery fists.

 

Steel

Average Moves per Steel: 8.04

Highest Type Learned besides itself and Normal: Rock at 68%

Lowest type: Fairy at 12%

Most Diverse: Lucario and Aggron with 13 moves

Least Diverse: Magnezone and Klinklang with 4 moves

Thoughts: Darling favorite, Lucario stands tall amongst the Steel Pokémon along with ceratopsian-inspired Aggron. I find it interesting that so many Steel Pokémon dropped the Rock Slide ball and just didn’t make an impressive statement for its Earthy counterpart. Hopefully next generation will improve their Rock movepool.

There are just three Steel Pokémon that can learn a strong Fairy move; Klefki, Mawile, and…Probopass? Really? And it’s Dazzling Gleam?? Okay, hold on. If Probopass can learn Dazzling Gleam…why can’t Magnezone or Klinklang learn it as well since they both know Flash Cannon, Signal Beam, and Electric moves?? Odd.

 

Fairy

Average Moves per Fairy: 8.00

Highest Type Learned besides itself and Normal: Psychic at 82%

Lowest type: Dragon at 5%

Most Diverse: Granbul with 14 moves

Least Diverse: Comfey and Florges with 4 moves

Thoughts: Fairy is a weird type as there are still not a lot of them available and they’re all so different. The variation in the data is wild as you have a some who know little or some who know a lot. I guarantee you Fairy Pokémon’s move diversity will drastically change the following generation once we get new Pokémon to analyze. I frankly wouldn’t be surprised if Fairy Pokémon found themselves averaging 9 moves. Also, I too was shocked that Granbull was the #1 spot for Fairies. Granbull additionally is the only one to have a Dragon move (Outrage). Clefable has a pretty good move diversity though (13) which is probably a tie over from its days of being a Normal type. A lot of Psychic love here but we also have about 3/4th of the Fairy Pokémon sporting a Grass move. The stories and legends of Fairies and their mushrooms and forests translated well for Pokémon.

Few Poison moves from this type (doesn’t quite bode well with living in harmony of the forest) but 50% of them can learn a Steel move! I guess Fairies are a bit ambivalent when it comes to forged metals.

 

Ice

Average Moves per Ice: 8.00

Highest Type Learned besides itself and Normal: Steel at 80%

Lowest type: Fire at 0%

Most Diverse: Alolan Sandslash and Weaile with 11 moves

Least Diverse: Vanilluxe with 4 moves

Thoughts: The fact that Ice Pokémon is not in the bottom three speaks volumes of how restricted other types can be. Ice Pokémon diversity gives them a boost that Electric and Grass types sorely need. The hard and durable Ice type are big fans of Steel moves and we see a lot of Smart Strike, Flash Cannon, and Iron Tail moves among the cold Pokémon. It’s…somewhat useful…I guess but at least over half can have a Ground move. With the abundance of Water/Ice types we also see a plethora of Ice Pokémon that can easily learn Surf (much more useful against the Fire Pokémon).

I think I speak for all of us when I say we’re ready for a Fire/Ice Pokémon. What would it look like? Not sure, maybe an icy volcano? Still, none of the Ice Pokémon in this survey can learn a strong Fire move (a trait that the Fire Pokémon would also have for Ice moves if it wasn’t for Alolan Marowak). Delibird is the only Ice type here that can learn a strong Flying move and that’s about it. None of the agile Ice Pokémon can even learn Bounce.

 

Flying

Average Moves per Flying: 7.66

Highest Type Learned besides itself and Normal: Bug at 76%

Lowest type: Fairy at 14%

Most Diverse: Archeops, Charizard, Hawlucha, Noivern, and Salamence with 12 moves

Least Diverse: Oricorio with 4 moves

Thoughts: Diversity did NOT help Flying Pokémon for move variability. The problem is that so many of these Pokémon are just so specialized in design or purpose that they can’t expand outwards. Emolga, Drifblim, and Jumpluff are just a few of the Flying Pokémon sitting with 5 moves. You also have a handicap of consistently being paired up with Bug which also doesn’t have the best move diversity (and they can’t even learn strong Flying moves!). Regardless, Flying Pokémon have a high rate of Bug moves not just because of the insects but because of U-Turn as well, a favorite for fast hitters. And oh man! Steel is at 74% thanks to Steel Wing! A very handy move against Ice and Rock types. And as a quick shoutout, a lot of Flying Pokémon can learn Heat Wave via Move tutor, just found that interesting.

 

Bug

Average Moves per Bug: 6.95

Highest Type Learned besides itself and Normal: Grass at 73%

Lowest type: Dragon and Fire at 3%

Most Diverse: Golisopod with 12 moves

Least Diverse: Kricketune with 4 moves

Thoughts: We reached the bottom three of our list with each of these types, on average, learning less than 7 type moves per Pokémon. I look at this graph and I see a few (typical) highs but a lot of lows. Since the beginning of the series, Bug Pokémon have been considered weak, ineffectual, and subpar, and unfortunately, this data does not convince otherwise. But that’s why we can’t always rely on one set of data points. Sure, Heracross, Volcarona, and Scizor does not learn many moves, but are they weak? I definitely wouldn’t say that. And Golisopod and Scolipede have both the diversity and the strength to make for some fun Pokémon to train! And on a personal level, I love Dustox and took one to the Elite Four despite its move limitations.

Grass moves like Giga Drain pair nicely with the sometimes parasite tendencies of Bug Pokémon. Over half of Bug Pokémon can also learn a strong Dark move, like Crunch or Night Slash further countering Psychic Pokémon. On the other end of the spectrum, only Golisopod can learn a Dragon move (Dual Chop) and Volcarona can learn multiple fire moves.

 

Electric

Average Moves per Electric: 6.92

Highest Type Learned besides itself and Normal: Bug at 92%

Lowest type: Fairy, Ghost, and Ice at 8%

Most Diverse: Eelektross with 12 moves

Least Diverse: Electrode with 4 moves

Thoughts: Electric Pokémon have the biggest disparity between move abundance, you either know it or you don’t. Electric types love their Bug and Steel moves but everything else is a soft fart. Why? Signal Beam (Bug) and Flash Cannon (Steel) pair nicely with the energy and laser based attitudes of Electric Pokémon. So many of them can learn these moves even by simply Leveling Up which is nice. This is why I’m confused Dazzling Gleam isn’t more popular, especially with this crowd.

Eelektross has a fantastic move diversity and is one of the reasons why I love it so much. In fact, Electivire can learn 11 moves so you don’t need to have a secondary type to boost your diversity. Unfortunately, Electrode did not get that memo and is stuck with only four moves.

 

Grass

Average Moves per Grass: 6.67

Highest Type Learned besides itself and Normal: Poison at 58%

Lowest type: Ice with 5%

Most Diverse: Chesnaught with 11 moves

Least Diverse: Cherrim and Lilligant with 3 moves

Thoughts: And we come to the end of our list, Grass Pokémon have the smallest type diversity movepool of 70 BP or greater. Even Poison moves don’t crack 60% despite the plethora of Grass/Poison types. Beyond that, we have Fighting and Ground peaking above halfway at 51% but everything else is less than half.

So who are the lucky few that can learn Ice or Fire moves? On the Ice side we have Abomasnow (of course) and Ludicolo via TM (thank you Water Type). Then on the Fire side we have Gourgeist (pumpkin theme coming in strong), Alolan Exeggutor (Dragon), and again, Ludicolo (who can already learn an assortment of odd moves). As Sword and Shield arrives to us later this year, I would hope that Grass Pokémon can catch a break. Realistically speaking, Grass Pokémon should be able to learn Fairy moves given their strong ties to nature. I would also like to see more Water moves as well due to their strong desire for water to keep them alive.

 

Final Thoughts

The mean and confidence interval of the average number moves each Pokemon Type can learn of 70 BP or Greater.

Take a look at the above graph, it shows the average different types an attacker can learn. The lines represents a 95% confidence that the mean falls within this zone.  What does this mean? Well there is a looooooot of overlap. I guarantee that by next generation, many of the attacking types’ ranks will change, maybe even drastically. Dragon could fall to 3rd place while Fairy could jump to the upper third. Why is there a lot of uncertainty in the data? Primary, it’s because, after we weeded out all the legendaries and the not-fully-evolved Pokémon, we are left with less-than-robust numbers that lead to shaky data points. Bug and Water have probably the statistically strongest data points due to Water’s vast numbers and the almost consistent number of moves each Bug Pokémon can learn. Fairy is just all over the place as there’s hardly any of them and we see a big range of Fairies learning a few moves or a lot of moves.

70 BP was such a brutal cutoff for a lot of different types. If I had pushed it to 65 BP we would have seen a huge boost in type diversity with Bubblebeam, Knock Off, Fire/Ice/Electric Fang, and Psybeam. But if I had pushed it up to 75 BP then we would’ve lost U-turn, Steel Wing, Sucker Punch, Shadow Claw, and Night Slash. I’m pretty darn sure Flying Pokémon would be dead last in move diversity without Steel Wing and U-turn. Dark and Ghost Pokémon would also tumble downwards in their diversity. Without the Steel move support, Ground moves would be by far the second most learned type. Looking at the data, I still think I did right with that 70 BP cutoff but whose to say? This is, after all, just my point of view and not the tried and true method of measuring a Pokémon’s diversity.

This research took a long time for me to do but I liked it. Just a fun project on the side for me to do without any major stress or deadlines to it. I tried my best to ensure its accuracy but if you have found mistakes in my data let me know and I’ll fix them! I won’t be offended at all.

Future

I can’t imagine myself doing a project like this in a long while but thankfully, this data will be continuously useful to me as I’m still writing my Single Type Run articles. When I’m focusing on a particular type, like Fire for instance, I can go to my data, look at the Fire type, and understand which Pokémon have the best move diversity and which Pokémon you might avoid.

I hope you enjoyed this article and I look forward to hearing about my mistakes!

Best Single Type 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 Single Type (or Monotype) 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 Single Type 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.
Single Type Run Chart

Check out the chart for Diamond, Pearl, Platinum, and other games

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 (Platinum)

First Pokémon: Piplup via Starter

Covers Weaknesses? Yes

Best Single Type Runs in Pokemon Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, and ORAS

pokemon-oras-box-art

A lot of fans consistently rate Pokémon OmegaRuby and AlphaSapphire (ORAS) as among the best (if not the best) Pokémon games in the franchise. The rerelease garnered an intense love of Hoenn, its Pokémon, and, surprisingly, the story. But what makes ORAS so amazing is that it gives trainers a chance to catch Pokémon with Egg moves and hidden abilities but also Pokémon not found in Hoenn. These National Pokémon, unlike a plethora of other games, can be caught before the Elite Four! As such, these games are fantastic for a Single Type Run (or a Monotype Run). For this article, I’ve included all Hoenn games so Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, and ORAS.

I’ve written previous articles on Single Type 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 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.
Single Type Run Chart

Check out the chart for a quick rundown of Single Type Runs

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

The Best Types

1200px-260swampert

The Hoenn games may just be the best games in the series for a Water-type run. You have an abundance of Water Pokémon with substantial diversity. Mudkip’s Water/Ground evolutions neutralizes the Electric weakness and gives some strong moveset variety. From there, you can train Magikarp/Wingull, Tentacool, Carvanha/Corpish, and more! If you have Sapphire, AlphaSapphire, or Emerald, you can even catch a Lotad early on and have it alongside Mudkip and Wingull before the first gym!

Ground, Psychic, and Flying are other excellent types as well. Although you won’t get much diversity for Ground Pokémon, you’ll still have the likes of Swampert, Flygon, Claydol, Camerupt, and Rhydon to play around with. The Psychic type has better diversity as you can catch and train Ralts, Meditite, Staryu, Natu, Solrock/Lunatone, and Girafarig. The Flying type, like Water, can give you early diversity but also provide some great hitters later on like Skarmory, Salamence, Gyarados, and Crobat.

From there, there are a plethora of types that you can catch very early on but may lack substantial diversity like Bug, Dark, Normal, Fire, Grass, Fighting, Poison, Fairy, and Ghost. If you have an ORAS game, however, the late game availability of random, national Pokémon, gives these types a fully-fledged out team. I’d say out of these options for an ORAS run I would choose Bug and Dark due to constant availability of these Pokémon throughout the game mixed in with some stellar late game Pokémon like Volcarona, Hydregion, and Drapion.

 

The Worst Types

As Hoenn is a tropical island, Ice types are quite rare (only two families) and available very late in the game making them one of the worst types in the entire series to do a run on. Although not as difficult, Dragon Pokémon are rare and the first Pokémon you can catch would be a Swablu well after the third gym. However, ORAS significantly changes this as Sceptile’s Mega Evolution is Grass/Dragon which makes it available from the start. The Dragon type becomes amazing as you can catch the likes of Hydregion, Garchomp, and the Lati@s in these games (just watch out for Ice moves!). Finally, Electric type is rather poor in these games due to their lackluster diversity and the first one you can catch is after the second gym.

 

Team Combinations

Bug

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

 

Dark

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

 

Dragon

Ideal Team: Salamence, Flygon/Garchomp (ORAS), Mega Sceptile (ORAS), Dragalge (OR), Lati@s (ORAS), Hydreigon (ORAS)

Optional Pokémon: Altaria, Druddigon (ORAS), Haxorus (ORAS)

First Pokémon: Besides Teecko in ORAS, you can catch a Swablu in Route 114 after the third gym

Covers Weaknesses? No, Ice is not neutralized and, unless you have a Mega Altaria, Dragon is not neutralized.

 

Electric

Ideal Team: Manectric, Magneton/Magnezone, Lanturn, Galvantula (ORAS), Jolteon (ORAS), Eelektross (ORAS)

Optional Pokémon: Minun/Plusle, Electabuzz (ORAS), Zebstrika (ORAS), Electrode, Luxray (ORAS)

First Pokémon: Electrike, Plusle, and Minun can be caught at Route 110 after the second gym.

Covers Weaknesses? Yes for ORAS but in Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald, Ground is not neutralized.

 

Fairy (ORAS only)

Ideal Team: Gardevoir, Wigglytuff, Mawile (OR)/Klefki, Azumarill, Mega-Altaria, Togekiss

Optional Pokémon: Whimsicott, Sylveon, Clefable, Mega-Audino

First Pokémon: Ralts via Route 102 before the first gym

Covers Weaknesses? Yes

 

Fighting

Ideal Team: Blaziken, Breloom, Heracross, Medicham (R, S, ORAS), Gallade (ORAS), Scrafty (ORAS)

Optional Pokémon: Machoke, Hariyama, Hitmonchan (ORAS), Hitmonlee (ORAS), Hitmontop (ORAS), Throh (OR), Sawk (AS), Gurdurr (ORAS), Primeape (ORAS)

First Pokémon: Torchic via starter

Covers Weaknesses? No, Flying is not neutralized.

 

Fire

Ideal Team: Blaziken, Camerupt, Magcargo, Ninetales, Volcarona (ORAS), Arcanine (ORAS)

Optional Pokémon: Torkoal, Flareon (ORAS), Magmar (ORAS), Rapidash (ORAS), Ninetales (ORAS), Darmanitan (ORAS)

First Pokémon: Torchic via starter

Covers Weaknesses? No, Water and Ground not neutralized.

 

Flying

Ideal Team: Gyarados, Salamence, Swellow, Ninjask, Skarmory, Xatu

Optional Pokémon: Beautifly, Masquerain (R, S, ORAS), Pelipper, Crobat, Altaria, Tropius, Honchkrow (ORAS), Drifblim (ORAS), Togekiss (ORAS), Mega-Pinsir (ORAS), Mandibuzz (ORAS), Chatot (ORAS), Unfezant (ORAS), Pidgeot (ORAS), Braviary (ORAS)

First Pokémon: Wurmple via Route 101

Covers Weaknesses? Yes

 

Ghost

Ideal Team: Shedinja, Sableye (S, E, AS)/Spiritomb (ORAS), Drifblim (ORAS), Trevanant (ORAS), Froslass (ORAS), Jellicent (ORAS)

Optional Pokémon: Banette, Dusclops, Cofagrigus (ORAS), Mismagius (ORAS)

First Pokémon: Nincada in Route 116 before the first gym

Covers Weaknesses? Yes for Sapphire, Emerald, and ORAS.  However, in Ruby, Ghost and Dark are not neutralized.

 

Grass

Ideal Team: Sceptile, Brleoom, Shiftry (R, E, OR)/Cacturne, Roserade/Roselia (R, S, ORAS)/Vileplume, Ludicolo (S, E, AS), Cradily

Optional Pokemon: Tropius, Trevanant (ORAS), Leafeon (ORAS), Sawsbuck (ORAS), Whimsicott (ORAS), Parasect (ORAS), Tangrowth (ORAS), Sunflora (ORAS), Cherrim (ORAS), Lilligant (ORAS), Maractus (ORAS)

First Pokémon: Treecko via starter

Covers Weaknesses? Yes for Sapphire, Emerald, and AlphaSapphire. In other versions, Ice is not neutralized.

 

Ground

Ideal Team: Swampert, Rhydon, Flygon/Garchomp (ORAS), Krookodile (ORAS), Camerupt, Excadrill (ORAS)

Optional Pokémon: Graveler, Donphan, Claydol, Whiscash/Seismitoad (ORAS)/Gastrodon (ORAS), Dugtrio (ORAS)

First Pokémon: Mudkip via starter

Covers Weaknesses? Yes

 

Ice

Ideal Team: Walrein, Glalie, Glaceon (ORAS), Beartic (ORAS), Dewgong (ORAS), Delibird (ORAS)

First Pokémon: Snorunt via Shoal Cave, before 7th gym

Covers Weaknesses? No, Rock is not neutralized and Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald are additionally weak to Fighting.

 

Normal

Ideal Team: Slaking, Swellow, Girafarig, Exploud, Wigglytuff, Dodrio

Optional Pokémon: Linoone, Kecleon, Zangoose (R, OR), Sawsbuck (ORAS), Porygon (ORAS), Delcatty, Spinda, Stoutland (ORAS), Chatot (ORAS), Unfezant (ORAS), Bouffalant (ORAS), Raticate (ORAS), Ambipom (ORAS), Pidgeot (ORAS), Lopunny (ORAS), Braviary (ORAS), Purugly (ORAS), Cinccino (ORAS), Audino (ORAS), Ditto (ORAS), Persian (ORAS), Stantler (ORAS)

First Pokémon: Zigzagoon in Route 101

Covers Weaknesses? Yes

 

Poison

Ideal Team: Dustox/Beedril (ORAS)/Venomoth (ORAS), Crobat, Tentacruel, Vileplume, Dragalge (OR), Drapion (ORAS)

Optional Pokémon: Seviper (S, E, AS), Swalot, Roselia (R, S, ORAS), Muk, Weezing, Garbodor (ORAS)

First Pokémon: Wurmple via Route 101

Covers Weaknesses? Yes except for Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald where Dark is not neutralized.

 

Psychic

Ideal Team: Gardevoir, Medicham (R,S,ORAS)/Gallade (ORAS), Girafarig, Xatu, Claydol, Starmie/Slowbro (ORAS)

Optional Pokémon: Lunatone (S, AS)/Solrock (R, E, OR), Lati@s (ORAS), Grumpig, Espeon (ORAS), Bronzong (ORAS), Gothitelle (ORAS), Hypno (ORAS), Beheeyem (ORAS), Musharna (ORAS), Unown (ORAS)

First Pokémon: Ralts via Route 102 before the first gym

Covers Weaknesses? Yes, except Emerald where Dark is not neutralized

 

Rock

Ideal Team: Rhydon, Aggron, Lunatone (S, AS)/Solrock (R, E, OR), Magcargo, Relicanth, Armaldo/Crustle (ORAS)

Optional Pokémon: Graveler, Cradily, Boldore (ORAS), Barbaracle (ORAS)

First Pokémon: Geodude and Aron via Granite Cave shortly before the second gym

Covers Weaknesses? Yes

 

Steel

Ideal Team: Aggron, Skarmory, Magneton/Magnezone, Mawile (R, E, OR)/Klefki (ORAS), Bronzong (ORAS), Excadrill (ORAS)

Optional Pokémon: Forretress (ORAS), Klinklank (ORAS),

First Pokémon: Aron via Granite Cave shortly before the second gym

Covers Weaknesses? Yes

 

Water

Ideal Team: Swampert, Gyarados, Ludicolo (S, E, AS)/Lanturn, Tentacruel, Sharpedo/Crawdaunt, Starmie/Slowbro (ORAS)

Optional Pokémon: Pelipper, Azumaril, Milotic, Whiscash, Relicanth, Walrein, Wailord, Vaporeon (ORAS), Jellicent (ORAS), Seismitoad (ORAS), Gastrodon (ORAS), Kingler (ORAS), Clawitzer (AS), Lumineon (ORAS), Alomomola (ORAS), Dewgong (ORAS), Barbaracle (ORAS)

First Pokémon: Mudkip via starter

Covers Weaknesses? Yes

 

Best Single Type Runs in Pokemon Red, Blue, Yellow, FireRed, and LeafGreen

With the quasi-remake of Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow, “Pokémon Let’s Go!,” coming out this year I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to write another Single Type Run article.  As mentioned before, a Single Type (or Monotype) Run in Pokémon is a playthrough where you only train a certain Pokémon type.  And boy howdy the Kanto games are probably the most difficult and/or frustrating games in the main series for a Single Type Run.  A low diversity and a low amount of available Pokémon make some types almost unplayable.  But there’s still some good ones out there so let’s take a look!

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.   Only Pokémon caught before the Elite Four are counted.
Single Type Chart  Version 1.1

Click on the chart for a condense version of Single Type Run playthroughs.

Best Types

143

The Normal type had its heyday in Generation 1.  Iconic Pokémon like Snorlax, Jigglypuff, and Tauros are all found in these games.  Of course, you have Normal Pokémon available immediately at Route 1 like Rattata and Pidgey so right away you have yourself a team (good luck with Brock, though!).  What’s more, you have a plethora of Flying/Normal Pokémon like Pidgeot, Dodrio, and Spearow that can protect you from fighters.  Normal Pokémon can also learn a diverse array of special moves so you can teach them the likes of Surf, Ice Beam, and Thunderbolt to take down any foe that stands in your way.

From Normal, we quickly fall into a range of types that range from pretty decent to meh.  There are tons of Water, Flying, and Poison Pokémon with great move diversity but watch out for their weaknesses.  Zapdos makes an Electric type run interesting but be prepared for low movepool diversity.  If you’re patient, you can catch a Geodude at Mount Moon and do a Rock type run.  The Rock type actually has all its weaknesses covered thanks to the fossil Pokémon but you won’t be playing with a full unique team.  And speaking of Geodude, a Ground type run would be another decent run thanks to the Nidorans being available fairly early on (just watch out for Water moves!).

Worst Types

Pic from Bulbapedia

It may not be a shock to you but Dragon, Ghost, and Ice types are just a generally bad idea all together.  There’s only one Ghost and Dragon family and they’re available mid and late game respectively (plus you would only be dealing with a Haunter if you didn’t trade).  Ice types are a little better as there are some decent Ice Pokémon but they’re available at best mid-game.  And God forbid you decide to do a Steel or Dark type run for FireRed and LeafGreen.  The only Steel type would be the Magnemite line (catchable after you can surf) and Gamefreak decided, for some reason, you couldn’t evolve an Eevee into an Umbreon so there’s no way you can catch and train a Dark type at all.

 

Team Combinations

Bug

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.

 

Dark

lol

 

Dragon

Ideal Team: Dragonite

First available Pokémon: Dratini via Safari Zone

Covers weaknesses?  No, Ice and Dragon not covered

 

Electric

Ideal Team: Raichu/Pikachu, Electrode, Electabuzz (Red, FireRed), Magneton, Jolteon, Zapdos

First available Pokémon: Pikachu in Viridian Forest or Pikachu as a starter in Yellow

Covers weaknesses?  Yes

 

Fairy

Ideal Team: Wigglytuff, Clefable, Mr. Mime

First available Pokémon: Jigglypuff right before Mount Moon.

Covers weaknesses? No, Poison or Steel are not neutralized

 

Fighting

Ideal Team: Machoke, Hitmonlee/Hitmonchan, Primeape (Red, Yellow, FireRed), Poliwrath

First available Pokémon: In Yellow, FireRed and LeafGreen it’s Mankey on Route 3 before the first gym.  In Red, it’s Mankey via Route 5, after the second gym.  In Blue, it’s Machop in the Rock Tunnel after the second gym.

Covers weaknesses? No, Flying or Psychic not neutralized.

 

Fire

Ideal Team: Charizard, Arcanine (Red, FireRed, Yellow)/Ninetales (Blue, LeafGreen, Yellow), Magmar (Blue, LeafGreen), Flareon, Rapidash, Moltres

First available Pokémon: Charmander via starter or via Route 24 after Mt. Moon in Yellow.

Covers weaknesses? No, Rock or Water not neutralized.

 

Flying

Ideal Team: Charizard, Dragonite, Aerodactyl, Gyarados, Zapdos, Articuno

Optional Pokémon: Pidgeot, Fearow, Dodrio, Scyther (Red, FireRed, Yellow)

First available Pokémon: Charmander via starter or Pidgey (Yellow) via Route 1.

Covers weaknesses? No, Rock is not covered.

 

Ghost

Ideal Team: Haunter

First available Pokémon: Gastly at Lavender Tower

Covers weaknesses? No, Ghost (and for that matter Psychic and Ground) are not covered

 

Grass

Ideal Team: Venusaur, Exeggutor, Vileplume (Red, FireRed, Yellow), Victreebel (Blue, LeafGreen, Yellow), Parasect, Tangela

First available Pokémon: Bulbasaur via starter or Paras via Mt. Moon in Yellow

Covers weaknesses? No, Flying, Ice, or Fire not neutralized.

 

Ground

Ideal Team: Nidoking, Nidoqueen, Rhydon, Onix, Dugtrio, Sandslash (Blue, LeafGreen, and Yellow)

Optional Pokémon: Graveler (or Golem if you can evolve it)

First available Pokémon: Nidorans in Route 22

Covers weaknesses? No, Water and Ice are not neutralized.

 

Ice

Ideal Team: Lapras, Articuno, Dewgong, Jynx (all versions except Yellow), Cloyster

First available Pokémon: Shellder via the Super Rod (from Route 12 from a fisherman), attainable after you complete Lavender Tower and move the Snorlax.  Shellder can be fished in various areas of Kanto.

Covers weaknesses? No, Rock is not neutralized.

 

Normal

Ideal Team: Snorlax, Tauros, Clefable, Pidgeot, Chansey, Kangaskhan

Optional Pokémon: Porygon, Fearow, Dodrio, Raticate, Persian, Farfetch’d, Lickitung, Wigglytuff, Ditto

First available Pokémon: Pidgey and Rattata in Route 1

Covers weaknesses? Yes!

 

Poison

Ideal Team: Venomoth, Golbat, Venusaur, Nidoking, Nidoqueen, Tentacruel

Optional Pokémon: Vileplume (Red, FireRed, Yellow), Victreebel (Blue, LeafGreen, Yellow), Haunter, Weezing (all versions except Yellow), Arbok (Red, FireRed)

First available Pokémon: Bulbasaur via starter or Nidorans via Route 22 in Yellow

Covers weaknesses? No, Psychic not neutralized.

 

Psychic

Ideal Team: Kadabra, Mr. Mime, Exeggutor, Jynx (all versions except Yellow), Starmie, Slowbro

First available Pokémon: Abra via Route 24 after Mount Moon.

Covers weaknesses? No, Bug and Ghost are not neutralized.

 

Rock

Ideal Team: Graveler, Rhydon, Onix, Aerodactyl, Omastar/Kabutops

First available Pokémon: Geodude at Mount Moon

Covers weaknesses? Surprisingly, yes.

 

Steel

Ideal Team: Magneton

First available Pokémon: Magnemite via Power Plant through surfing (need the Soul Badge)

Covers weaknesses? No, Ground, Fighting, and Fire not neutralized.

 

Water

Ideal Team: Blastoise, Slowbro, Poliwrath, Lapras, Tentacruel, Vaporeon

Optional Pokémon: Starmie, Gyrados, Omastar/Kabutops, Cloyster, Dewgong

First available Pokémon: Squirtle via starter or Magikarp via the Pokecenter just before Mt. Moon in Yellow

Covers weaknesses? No, Electric is not neutralized.