Tag Archives: Nidoking

Best Pokemon Games for a Ground Type Run

Image result for ground pokemon

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monotype Chart 2.02Best Games

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

Subjectively, the best games are probably Pokemon Platinum, Pokemon XY, and Pokemon SWSH.  This is thanks to their huge diversity, early availability and more importantly, Hippowdon!  We’ll talk about Hippowdon in a moment but this hippo makes Ground Type runs extra fun and extra sweet.  Hippowdon has Sand Stream which triggers a sandstorm, because of which you can easily use the Pokemon from these games to take advantage of the storm and go to town on your opponents.  It’s fun!

Worst Games

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

 

MVP (Most Valuable Pokemon)

Image result for gastrodon
Water/Ground Pokemon

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

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

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

Image result for torterraImage result for swampert

Torterra and Swampert

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

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

Trapinch artwork by Ken SugimoriGible artwork by Ken Sugimori

Ground/Dragon Pokemon

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

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

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

Available in: RSE (Flygon), DPP (Garchomp), B2W2 (Flygon), XY (Flygon and Garchomp), SM (Garchomp), USUM (Garchomp and Flygon), and SWSH (Flygon)

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Hippowdon

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

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

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

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

Available in: DPP, XY, SWSH

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

Ground/Steel Pokemon

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that I placed the Steel type on this list.  They are super defensive and eliminate Ground’s two of three weaknesses without trading it with a 4x weakness.  They are also very common in the later games so expect to find one from Generation 6 and on.  You can even catch Steelix in some of those games!  You don’t need another game to trade an Onix with a Steel Coat, you can get one yourself!  I find this very curious but I’m not complaining!  Alolan Diglet is also among the first Ground Pokemon you can get in the Sun and Moon games so you’re starting strong with a fast attacker.

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

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

Image result for Nidoking and nidoqueen

Nidoqueen and Nidoking

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

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

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

 

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Krookodile

Krookodile has one of the highest occurrences of Ground Type Pokemon which is the biggest reason it’s on this list.  It’s also here because of its strength and diversity.  Besides it’s own STAB moves, it can learn strong Dragon, Fighting, Water, Ghost, and Poison moves giving it diversity that other Ground Pokemon lack.  It’s Intimidate and Moxie abilities are also top notch and sets itself well for a great revenge killer or wall.  Although that Dark pairing won’t save your team from any weaknesses, it’s still nice to have especially when you have to deal with Psychics or Ghosts.

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

The Best Pokemon Games for a Poison-Type Run

Update 1/14/2020: This article now includes Sword and Shield

If you’re looking for a fun, and rather different, Single Type (or Monotype) run in Pokémon I would suggest the Poison Type. This is one of the few types that make a feasible run in Generation 1 due to their extraordinarily high abundance and diversity. Ever since then, these toxic monsters litter the games and make a wonderful monotype run in every generation with the exception of Black/White and its sequels. For this article, we will look at the best games for a Poison Run and the most common and/or useful poison type Pokémon you’ll run into during your playthroughs (along with some helpful moves to look out for).

As usual, the rules are as stated. You must catch the first Pokémon of that type ASAP and disregard all other types. A Pokémon that evolves into your type may be trained as long as you evolve it ASAP. Only Pokémon you can catch in your game are counted (i.e., no traded Pokémon). And only pre-Elite Four Pokémon are counted for the run.

Monotype Chart 2.02The Worst Games

Just avoid Black and White. You can train only three unique Pokemon (Scolipede, Garbodor, and Amoongus), which all have subpar typing.  And the first Poison type you catch is after the second gym.  No thanks!  At least its sequels are much better for Poison.

The Best Games

Honestly, pick virtually any other game in the series and you’ll have a fun time. If you want more information, consult my type chart as seen here. Now, you’re going to watch out for Psychics, especially in early games, as Poison/Dark Pokemon are uncommon and unfortunately there’s no Poison/Steel or Poison/Psychic yet.

Nostalgia paints a rosy picture for all of us so take this for what you will but one of the best Poison-Type games would be Red, Blue, and Yellow. You can get a Bulbasaur as a starter (or get it later in Yellow), catch a Weedle in the forest and from there, pick up the Nidorans, catch a Zubat in Cerulean Cave, pick up a Bellsprout or Oddish if you’re feeling it, and then find a Gastly/Haunter in the Lavender Tower. Later on, you can find your Tentacool in the seas, Venonat in the Safari, and finally catch a Muk or Koffing in the Cinnabar Mansion. Lots of good choices!

But what if you hate Psychics and realllly want to defend yourself?

Generation 6, 7, and 8 are fantastic but the best games are Pokemon XY.  All these games have diversity and coverage necessary to block attacking types and give you great type coverage.  Sword and Shield have the wonderful Wild Area to give you a plethora of Poison Pokemon, while Sun and Moon can give you Alolan Muk (’nuff said).  XY though are the best as they have the highest diversity of Poison Pokemon in any game and the Pokemon they have are amazing!

I think if I had to choose I would go for Pokémon Y as you can catch a Skrelp and evolve it into a Dragalge! I love this Pokémon but it’s unfortunately rare. You can also get a Bulbasaur (with a mega bonus too!), Venipede, Croagunk, and Zubat fairly early on so that already gives you a good wide base of moves and abilities. Later on you can catch a Nidoran, Stunky, and Tentacool which further expands your movesets. Drapion fans are in luck as Skorupi is catchable with the setback that you won’t find one until late in the game. I’m not even counting other Poison Pokémon as well! So you got a lot of great choices going into it.

Poison Teams in Pokemon Games

Pokemon RBY and FRLG
Ideal Team: Venomoth, Golbat, Venusaur, Nidoking, Nidoqueen, Tentacruel
Optional: Vileplume (Red, FireRed, Yellow), Victreebel (Blue, LeafGreen, Yellow), Haunter, Weezing (all versions except Yellow), Arbok (Red, FireRed)
First available Pokémon: Bulbasaur via starter or Nidorans via Route 22 in Yellow
Covers weaknesses? No, Psychic not neutralized.

 

Pokemon GSC and HGSS
Ideal Team: Haunter, Venomoth, Tentacruel, Victreebel/Vileplume, Crobat, Nidoking/Nidoqueen
Optional: Muk, Weezing, Arbok, Ariados (G, C, HG), Beedril (S, C, SS)
First Pokémon: Weedle (S, C, SS) or Spinarak (G, C, HG) in Route 30.
Via Pokewalker Grimer and Koffing (Town Outskirts at 1500+ steps), Tentacool (Blue Lake at 0+ steps), Gastly (Dim Cave at 1000+ steps), Zubat (Dim Cave at 0+ steps), Venonat (Noisy Forest at 700+ steps), Oddish (Noisy Forest at 0+ steps), Bellsprout (Noisy Forest at 3000+ steps) and the Nidorans (Refreshing Field in 500+ steps) are available.
Covers Weaknesses? No, Psychic is not neutralized.

 

Pokemon RSE and ORAS
Ideal Team: Dustox/Beedril (ORAS)/Venomoth (ORAS), Crobat, Tentacruel, Vileplume, Dragalge (OR), Drapion (ORAS)
Optional: 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 Psychic is not neutralized.

 

Pokemon DPP
Ideal Team: Roserade, Crobat, Drapion, Toxicroak, Tentacruel, Dustox
Optional: 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

 

Pokemon BW and B2W2
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

 

Pokemon XY
Ideal Team: Venusaur, Nidoking/Nidoqueen, Drapion/Skuntank, Scolipede, Toxicroak, Dragalge (Y)/Tentacruel
Optional: Beedrill, Roserade, Vileplume, Swalot, Crobat, Seviper, Haunter, Arbok, Amoonguss, Garbodor, Ariados, Qwilfish
First Pokémon: Weedle via Route 2 in X or Santalune Forest in Y.  Both before the first gym
Weaknesses Covered? Yes

 

Pokemon SM and USUM
SM Ideal Team: Muk, Crobat, Tentacruel/Toxapex, Gengar (S.O.S. by Haunter in Thrifty Megamark after the Ula’ula Trials), Roserade (scan), Scolipede (scan)
Optional: Victreebel (scan), Ariados, Garbodor, Salazzle
First Pokémon: Spinarak via Route 1
Cover weaknesses? Yes

USUM Ideal Team: Muk, Dragalge (UM)/Salazzle, Crobat, Tentacruel/Toxapex, Gengar (S.O.S. by Haunter in Thrifty Megamark after the Ula’ula Trials), Venusaur (scan)
Optional: Garbodor, Arbok, Salazzle, Ariados, Beedril (scan)
First Pokémon: Spinarak via Route 1
Cover weaknesses? Yes

 

Pokemon SWSH
Ideal Team: Drapion, Roserade, Toxapex, Weezing, Toxicroak (Shield)/Toxtricity, Gengar
Optional: Vileplume, Skuntank, Garbodor, Salazzle (Shield), Qwilfish, Toxtricity, Eternatus
First Pokémon:  You can always find Stunky in random encounters at North Lake Miloch.  Keep an eye out for Oddish, Gastly, Budew, and Roselia as they can be found throughout the Wild Area.  Finally, Den 29/86 at East Lake Axewell will always spawn Poison Pokemon for Max Raid Battles.
Weaknesses Covered? Yes, and it’s taken care of before the first gym!

 

MVP (Most Valuable Pokémon)

Crobat Line

Considered one of the most pestilent, annoying Pokémon, Zubat, and its evolutions, can be found in almost every single game naturally except BW and SWSH. There’s a reason many players dread going into the caves! But to the Poison Type fan, Zubat is a blessing. Not only are they usually found early on but they offer a valuable immunity to Poison’s hated Ground weakness. Zubat’s final evolution, Crobat, is also a solid Pokémon to train. Incredible speed and a wide range of support moves makes Crobat a great partner when tackling your respective region. Oh, and Crobat has the highest stats of any non-Mega, non-Legendary Poison Pokémon. That’s pretty awesome! Plus, Crobat gets a subjective boost as you need to love and support your bat to be its very best! Love it.

Available in: RBY and FRLG (Golbat), GSC and HGSS, RSE and ORAS, DPP, B2W2, XY, SM and USUM

Tentacruel

Similar to the ubiquitous Zubat, you can find Tentacool in almost every game. Unlike Zubat though, Tentacool does not neutralize any weaknesses but the trade-off is pretty great. Tentracruel is a great wall that has decent special attack. Teaching Tentacruel Surf and Ice Beam is a smart way to handle Ground types (and Giga Drain as well in some games!). Tentacruel also learns Toxic Spikes which really hones in that Poison mentality.

Available in: RBY and FRLG, GSC and HGSS, RSE and ORAS, DPP, XY, SM and USUM

Poison/Grass Pokemon

Unfortunately from here, Poison Pokémon are more scattered throughout the games so any I list from now on must be taken with exceptions. That being said, these four itchy and allergenic Pokémon you will more than likely find on your journey. Grass/Poison Pokémon serves as a decent wall for different types and offers a nice neutralization towards Ground moves. Poison status and Leech Seed/Drain moves can make short work of walls while gaining you a nifty HP boost in return. Venusaur is obviously the top choice here as it’s the strongest of the four and, if you’re playing in later generations, can go Mega. That being said, if you want to venom-up your creepy Poison team, I would get a Victreebel ASAP!

Available in: Every game

Poison/Dark Pokemon

One of the best type combos in the games, Poison/Dark is a fantastic combination for Poison Pokemon as that Dark type makes them immune (!) to Psychic attacks!  But the other reason why they’re here 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.  These three can also fight your enemies well.  For instance, Alolan Muk can learn Rock Slide and Flamethrower, Drapion can learn Fire Fang, Aerial Ace, Iron Tail, and Rock Slide, and Skuntank can learn Iron Tail and Flamethrower.

Disadvantages?  Hm, well, they sometimes show up late in the games.  Um, Muk and Drapion’s move diversity is good…but Skuntank’s is okay.  They also have a…Ground weakness…?  But it’s just the one so just…not fight against a Steelix?  These Pokemon are also strong (Muk and Drapion have 500 Total Base Stats while Skuntank has 479) but nothing to write home about.  Really, the only major qualm I have is they don’t show up in earlier games.  At least you can train an Alolan Muk in Let’s Go Pikachu!

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

Nidoking/Nidoqueen

As much as I love the Nidorans, they are unfortunately not that common in the main games; Kanto, Johto, and Kalos are pretty much the main regions you can catch them. That being said, they are great for their nice stats, lovely designs, and a STAB Earthquake bonus. The Nidorans also learn a bunch of moves through TMs like Thunderbolt, Flamethrower, Ice Beam, and Surf. Finally, they both learn moves naturally that can combat weaknesses like Nidoking’s Megahorn and Nidoqueen’s Crunch (but only for Generation 3 and on).

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

Scolipede (and other Bug/Poison Pokémon)

Bug/Poison Pokémon are honestly a mixed bag. On the one hand, they’re (usually) available early on, they neutralize Ground weakness and have a STAB, super effective move against Psychics. On the other hand, their stats range from average to poor and what Bug moves they do learn are usually weak (or in early Generations practically nonexistent). Scolipede is the exception to this rule, although mainly available in Black/White and X/Y, Scolipede is a fast, hard-hitting Bug Pokémon that can learn Megahorn naturally and learn some decent TMs, like Earthquake. If you can’t catch a Venipede but still want a Bug, go for the likes of Venomoth or even Dustox. In later generations, they can learn Giga Drain along with Bug Buzz and the incredible Quiver Dance.

Available in: Every game

gengar

Gengar/Haunter

So I honestly hesitate to put Gengar on here as although it is a strong Pokémon, there’s some unfortunate setbacks. First, trading. If you’re going solo you’re basically stuck with a Haunter. Now if you love Haunter that’s not a big deal! I honestly have taken Haunter to the  Elite Four several times and I love that creepy ghost. So if that doesn’t bother you then good!  Fortunately, in Sun/Moon and USUM you can catch a Gengar in the Thrifty Megamart!! After the Ula’ula Trials, go back to the mart, find a Haunter, and have it call for a Gengar via S.O.S.  It may take a few tries but it’s definitely going to be worth it.  Gengar is amazing.  You can also catch a Gengar in the Wild Areas which is amaaaaaazing.

Second, the game appearances. Gengar has a spotty record of locations as it’s entirely absent from Hoenn and basically nonexistent in Unova. Other than that you’re looking at a Pokémon that surprisingly has some early-in-game locations as seen in Johto, Sinnoh, Alola, and Galar.

There’s also a weird sticking point for its ability. Gastly and Haunter have Levitate which is amazing for those Ground moves. Gengar though lost its Levitate ability in Generation VII so be prepared to suffer a OHKO from an Earthquake attack as Gengar’s defenses are low. However, Gengar is a beast! He can learn an amazing array of moves like Shadow Ball, Psychic, Thunderbolt, Dazzling Beam, Energy Ball, and the list goes on. He’s fast as well and that special defense is pretty good. If you can get your hands on a Gengar you’re going to have a stellar time on your Poison Run!

Available in: RBY and FRLG (Haunter), GSC and HGSS (Haunter), DPP (Haunter), XY (Haunter), SM and USUM (Gengar), SWSH (Gengar)