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Best Monotype Runs for Pokemon Sword and Shield

TLDR: Pokemon SWSH are the best games in the series for a Monotype Run.  You can catch every type before the first gym.  Water, Flying, Steel, Psychic, and Bug are probably the best whereas Fire and Dragon are the worst.  The full list of teams is at the end of this article.

Without a doubt, Pokemon Sword and Shield (SWSH) are the best games in the entire Pokemon franchise for a Monotype Run (also called Single Type).  A Monotype Run is a self-imposed challenge where you play a Pokemon game with only one type, sort of like a gym leader.  You pick a type, like Dark, and catch the first Pokemon that matches that type, in this case Nickit, and from there only catch Pokemon of that type and progress your way to the Champion.  The Pokemon diversity in SWSH is absolutely incredible as you can catch every type before the first gym (compared to XY’s 14 types)!  Additionally, out of 18 types and two games, 32 of 36 team combinations have all their weaknesses covered which is INSANE (XY ties it for the best).  As such any type you pick will basically be a winner!  I have a list of full teams below but first let’s take a look at the rules.

Rules

  1. A type must be selected before starting the game. Upon playing the game the player must make all attempts to capture a Pokémon of that type as soon as possible. Once captured, the previous Pokémon of the party must be disregarded if they are not of that type.
  2. Pokémon that have yet to evolve into that type (e.g., Chewtle for a Rock type run) may be caught but must be evolved as soon as possible.
  3. Trading is not allowed
  4. Only Pokemon caught before you fight the Champion are counted

Optional Rules
Many folks have commented that SWSH are among the easiest games in the series.  If you find that to be the case with your Monotype team I encourage you to make it more difficult by imposing such rules as

  • Changing the battle from “shift” to “set” so you won’t have an advantage on your opponent
  • Not teaching your Pokemon TM, TR, or Move Relearner moves
  • Avoid potions and other healing items
  • And any other rules you think may give you a more challenging, but still fun, playthrough

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Best Types

I could go on and on why all these types are amazing so I’ll do my best to keep it short and to the point.  The short of it is that any type is pretty great because you can catch a Pokemon from EVERY TYPE before the first gym!  No other game has come close to this perfection!  The Wild Area is the main factor as, in some cases, you can have a full team of Pokemon of your type before hitting the first gym.  But what about the best?  Water, Steel, Psychic, Bug, and Flying are probably the best due to their extreme early availability and amazing diversity.  There are so many team combinations that to say that one is the “best” is a mute point.  My interpretation of a type’s ideal team will certainly be different from yours and I think that’s what makes these types so great.

Weather Teams are also really wonderful as you can catch Pokemon that will trigger weather conditions on the battlefield.  Ground is excellent, as usual, but I want to focus on Ice and Rock.  SWSH are probably the best games in the series for an Ice and Rock run.  For Ice, you can catch a Snover and Vanillite at the Wild Area whereas for Rock you can catch a Larvitar in Shield and a Gigalith in both versions.  These Pokemon’s abilities will trigger weather conditions that you can use to full advantage.  I strongly recommend you to catch a Darmanitan in Sword as its ability Gorilla Tactics makes it a fast, physical sweeper.

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Worst Types

Unfortunately, Sword and Shield came SO CLOSE to getting a perfect record!  Despite your starter, Fire is probably the worst type due to its inability to cover weaknesses.  In Shield you are exposed to Rock and Water moves whereas in Sword it’s just Rock thanks to the version exclusive Turtonator.  Granted, Fire traditionally has a tough time covering weaknesses and has only pulled it off a few times.  If a SWSH sequel comes out Gamefreak just needs to add Camerupt or one of the fire starters and it’s perfect.  Still though, this is a pretty good team!  You got a Torkoal with Drought, which is excellent, and combined with such Pokemon as Chandelure, Centiskorch, and Coalossal you’ll have a great team!  Finally, Ghost in Sword and Fairy in Shield have a weakness exposed so be prepared.

Hmm, if I have to pick one more type it would be Dragon as it’s comparatively “bad” even though SWSH are the best games in the entire series for a Dragon run.  It has two main pitfalls.  Finding your first Dragon Pokemon can be a draaaaag.  Initially, Dragon Pokemon only spawn from this one specific Den (37/64)in the Wild Area so if it’s not going you need to buy a few Wishing Stones to spawn them in Max Raid Battles.  Thankfully, you’ll start with good team members like Trapinch, Axew, Noibat and Jangmo-o (Sword) or Goomy (Shield).  Second, you will be wide open to your weaknesses until near the end of the game thanks to the late-appearing Duraludon so that Fairy and Ice Gym is going to be rooooooooough.

 

Wild Area and Your First Pokemon
Usually, finding your first Pokemon is pretty straightforward.  Is it your starter?  If not, what’s the first route it shows up on?  That’s it.

Sword and Shield’s Wild Area has thrown that out of the window and was by far the most time consuming part of my research.  I’m glad that 11 out of the 18 types can be found before the Wild Area because those were super easy.  But those other seven types were rough so here’s how I broke it down.  I wrote down what Pokemon were easiest or most likely to find first and then wrote other Pokemon you can find that are rarer but still possible to find.  If there’s a Pokemon you can find only in Max Raid battles, I took note of that and wrote down their den numbers which were provided by Serebii.

Also, so we’re on the same page, random encounters are encounters with the “!” symbol whereas overworld encounters are Pokemon just walking around.

 

Type Teams

Bug

Ideal Team: Crustle, Centiskorch, Durant, Orbeetle, Galvantula, Araquanid/Golisopod

Optional Pokémon: Butterfree, Vikavolt, Shedinja, Ninjask, Escavalier (Sword Raid), Accelgor (Shield Raid), Ribombee, Vespiquen, Shuckle, Frosmoth

First Pokémon: Blipbug, Caterpie, Grubbin by random encounters (30%, 15%, and 10%) via Route 1.

Weaknesses Covered? Yes, and it’s taken care of before the first gym!

 

Dark

Ideal Team: Drapion, Grimmsnarl, Malamar, Bisharp, Scrafty (Sword)/Pangoro, Mandibuzz (Shield)/Crawdaunt

Optional Pokémon: Thievul, Liepard, Shiftry (Sword), Obstagoon, Skuntank, Umbreon, Weavile, Sableye (Shield), Morpeko, Tyranitar (Shield), Hydreigon (Sword)

First Pokémon: Nickit by overworld (5%) via Route 1.  Route 2 is more productive with Zigzagoon and Nickit by overworld (2% and 15%) and Purrloin and Seedot (Sword) by random encounters (10% and 20%).

Weaknesses Covered? Yes

 

Dragon

Ideal Team: Flygon, Dracovish, Turtonator (Sword)/Haxorus, Kommo-o (Sword)/Drampa (Shield), Duraludon, Dragapult

Optional Pokémon: Goodra (Shield), Flapple (Sword)/Appletun (Shield), Dracozolt, Hydreigon (Sword)

First Pokémon: In Rolling Fields, you can always find Dragon Pokemon by Max Raids at Den 37/64.  These include Noibat, Trapinch, Axew, Jangmo-o (Sword), Goomy (Shield) and sometimes Applin and Dreepy.

Weaknesses Covered? Yes, thanks to Duraludon who’s unfortunately catchable near the end of the game.

 

Electric

Ideal Team: Vikavolt, Toxtricity, Wash Rotom, Galvantula, Dracozolt, Arctozolt

Optional Pokémon: Manectric, Jolteon, Other Rotom Forms, Boltund, Raichu, Morpeko, Togedemaru, Pincurchin, Heliolisk

First Pokémon: Grubbin by random encounters (10%) via Route 1.  Yamper will follow soon after on Route 2 by overworld (5%).

Weaknesses Covered? Yes

 

Fairy

Ideal Team: Weezing, Togekiss, Gardevoir, Mawile (Sword)/Sylveon, Mimikyu, Grimmsnarl

Optional Pokémon: Clefable, Shiinotic, Slurpuff (Sword), Ribombee, Whimsicott, Alcremie, Aromatisse (Shield), Hatterene, Rapidash (Shield)

First Pokémon: You can find a Ralts by Heavy Fog random encounters in most of the areas.  In Rolling Fields, Den 33/62 will always spawn Fairy Pokemon (Cleffa, Togepi, Cutiefly, Swirlix, Clefairy, Morelull and sometimes Impidimp and Ralts).

Weaknesses Covered? Only in Sword thanks to Mawile.  In Shield, Fairy is exposed to Steel type moves.

 

Fighting

Ideal Team: Scrafty (Sword)/Pangoro, Lucario, Toxicroak (Shield)/Kommo-o (Sword), Gallade, Bewear, Hawlucha

Optional Pokémon: Hitmonchan, Hitmonlee, Hitmontop, Gurdurr, Machamp, Sirfetch’d (Sword), Throh, Sawk, Passimian (Sword), Falinks, Grapploct

First Pokémon: You can always find Tyrogue by overworld encounters in the Rolling Fields and you can always find Pancham in the Rolling Hills’ western most grasses by overworld.  In the East Lake Axewell, you can always find a Stufful by overworld encounters and sometimes by random encounters.  Look out for Machop at South Lake Miloch as you can find them in most weather conditions.  Finally, Ralts is rarer but you can find them in Heavy Fog random encounters in most of the areas.  In Rolling Fields, Den 1/48 will always spawn Fighting Pokemon for Max Raid battles such as Scraggy (Sword), Croagunk (Shield), Timburr, and sometimes Riolu.  This is before the first gym.

Weaknesses Covered? Yes, and you can accomplish this before the first gym!

 

Fire

Ideal Team: Cinderace, Torkoal, Centiskorch, Coalossal, Heat Rotom, Turtonator (Sword)/Arcanine

Optional Pokémon: Flareon, Ninetales, Salazzle, Chandelure, Heatmor, technically Darmanitan in Zen Mode

First Pokémon: Scorbunny via Starter

Weaknesses Covered? Sadly no, Shield is weak to Water and Rock.  Sword is weak to just Rock thanks to Turtonator.

 

Flying

Ideal Team: Corviknight, Noivern, Sigilyph, Togekiss, Gyarados, Hawlucha

Optional Pokémon: Swoobat, Braviary (Sword), Mandibuzz (Shield), Xatu, Noctowl, Unfezant, Butterfree, Pelipper, Delibird, Ninjask, Vespiquen, Drifblim, Fan Rotom, Cramorant, Mantine

First Pokémon: Rookidee by overworld (30%) and Hoothoot and Caterpie by random encounters (5% and 15%) via Route 1.

Weaknesses Covered? Yes

 

Ghost

Ideal Team: Golurk, Dragapult, Dusknoir, Sableye (Shield)/Mimikyu, Gengar, Aegislash

Optional Pokémon: Runerigus, Cofagrigus, Shedinja, Gourgeist, Froslass, Polteageist, Rotom, Cursola (Shield), Chandelure, Jellicent, Trevanant (Raid), Dhelmise, Drifblim, Eternatus

First Pokémon: Watchtower Ruins is your best bet.  Regardless of weather you will find a Duskull, Drifloon, Gastly, or Golett by random encounters.  You can also find a Nincada at West Lake Axewell by Sandstorm random encounter or South Lake Miloch by Sandstorm or Intense Sun random encounter.  Finally, you will always catch Ghosts in Den 6/47 at Watchtower Ruins for Max Raid battles.

Weaknesses Covered? Yes in Shield due to the exclusive Sableye.  In Sword you are exposed to Ghost moves.

 

Grass

Ideal Team: Rillaboom, Ludicolo (Shield)/Dhelmise, Flapple (Sword)/Appletun (Shield), Roserade, Ferrothorn, Mow Rotom

Optional Pokémon: Vileplume, Gourgeist, Cherrim, Shiftry (Sword), Eldegoss, Whimsicott, Shiinotic, Bellossom, Trevanant (Raid), Leafeon, Tsareena, Abomasnow, Maractus

First Pokémon: Grooky via Starter

Weaknesses Covered? Yes

 

Ground

Ideal Team: Flygon, Hippowdon, Golurk, Gastrodon, Excadrill, Sandaconda

Optional Pokémon: Diggersby, Mudsdale, Onix, Whiscash, Steelix, Quagsire, Runerigus, Seismitoad, Rhyperior (Raid), Dugtrio, Claydol, Stunfisk, Mamoswine

First Pokémon:  In the Rolling Fields, you will find Bunnelby in the overworld in every weather except Snowstorm and Thunderstorm; additionally, you will always find them by random encounter.  You can also find Nincada, Mudbray, Baltoy, Golett, and Diggersby in random encounters throughout the Wild Area.  They are most common in Sandstorms and Intense Sun.  Look for Swinub during Snowstorms and Snowing, Barboach fishing in South Lake Miloch, and Tympole and Wooper in West Lake Axewell.  You can also find Ground Pokemon for Den 16/52 in Rolling Fields for Max Raid Battles including the aforementioned Pokemon as well as Diglett and Yamask.  There’s also a chance to find a Trapinch by Max Raid battles in Rolling Fields.  This is before the first gym.

Weaknesses Covered? Yes

 

Ice

Ideal Team: Abomasnow, Froslass, Mamoswine, Cloyster, Mr. Rime, Frost Rotom

Optional Pokémon: Glalie, Delibird, Glaceon, Vanilluxe, Beartic, Weavile, Frosmoth, Avalugg, Lapras, Darmanitan (Sword), Eiscue (Shield), Arctovish, Arctozolt

First Pokémon:  You are guaranteed to find an Ice type Pokemon if it’s Snowing in the Wild Area.  Find an area that’s snowing and start searching!  The Pokemon you can find include Snover, Snorunt, Swinub, Vanillite, Delibird, and Shellder (fishing) via Wild Area.  Look for Sneasel in Den 35 at West Lake Axewell for Max Raid battles. This can all be done before the first gym.

Weaknesses Covered?  Yes, and it’s taken care of well before the first gym!

 

Normal

Ideal Team: Bewear, Heliolisk, Unfezant, Oranguru (Shield)/Indeedee, Drampa (Shield)/Obstagoon, Snorlax

Optional Pokémon: Diggersby, Noctowl, Braviary (Sword), Cinccino, Greedent, Obstagoon, Dubwool, Cinccino, Persian, Ditto

First Pokémon: Wooloo and Skwovet by overworld (15% and 50%) and Hoothoot and Skwovet by random encounters (5% and 50%) via Route 1.

Weaknesses Covered? Yes

 

Poison

Ideal Team: Drapion, Roserade, Toxapex, Weezing, Toxicroak (Shield)/Toxtricity, Gengar

Optional Pokémon: 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!

 

Psychic

Ideal Team: Orbeetle, Sigilyph, Bronzong, Gardevoir, Gallade, Malamar

Optional Pokémon: Swoobat, Musharna, Solrock (Sword)/Lunatone (Shield), Meowstic, Reuniclus (Shield), Gothitelle (Sword), Hatterene, Mr. Rime, Espeon, Claydol, Xatu, Wobbuffet, Beheeyem, Rapidash (Shield), Indeedee, Oranguru (Shield)

First Pokémon: Blipbug by random encounters (30%) via Route 1

Weaknesses Covered? Yes, and it’s taken care of before the first gym!

 

Rock

Ideal Team: Crustle, Drednaw, Coalossal, Stonjourner (Sword)/Tyranitar (Shield), Gigalith, Solrock (Sword)/Lunatone (Shield)

Optional Pokémon: Sudowoodo, Rhyperior (Raid), Shuckle, Onix, Barbaracle

First Pokémon: Chewtle by overworld (10%) via Route 2.

Weaknesses Covered? Yes, and it’s taken care of before the first gym!  Which is good because it’s Grass, see if you can evolve your Rolycoly before you fight Milo otherwise you might need to lean on Dwebble.  Also, get the Sandstream Ability from Gigalith.

 

Steel

Ideal Team: Corviknight, Excadrill, Bronzong, Ferrothorn, Aegislash, Duraludon

Optional Pokémon: Perrserker, Steelix, Klinklang, Stunfisk, Bisharp, Mawile (Sword), Lucario, Copperajah, Durant, Togedemaru, Escavalier (Sword Raid)

First Pokémon: Rookidee by overworld (30%) via Route 1

Weaknesses Covered? Yes

 

Water

Ideal Team: Inteleon, Gyarados, Gastrodon, Dracovish, Araquanid, Ludicolo (Shield)/Cloyster

Optional Pokémon: Crawdaunt, Drednaw, Quagsire, Seismitoad, Golisopod, Qwilfish, Toxapex, Whiscash, Wishiwashi, Pyukumuku, Barraskewda, Milotic, Wailord, Lanturn, Mantine, Basculin, Vaporeon, Pelipper, Kingler, Seaking, Octillery, Wash Rotom, Cramorant, Lapras, Jellicent, Arctovish

First Pokémon: Sobble via Starter

Weaknesses Covered? Yes, and it can be taken care before the first gym!  Which is good because the first gym is Grass.  You might want to consider a Rain team with Pelipper’s Drizzle ability.

Best Pokemon Games for a Ghost Type Run

I know what you’re thinking.

Yes, it CAN be done!  BUT!  If you want to do a Ghost Type Run you’ll have to do a little research first before you dive in because a Ghost Type run can be really rough.  Ghost Pokemon have a habit of showing up around mid-game but the biggest problem by far is their limited diversity which can be very debilitating.  They are the second rarest type  ranking just above Ice Type.  Because of which, trying to find a full team AND neutralize all your weaknesses can be a big challenge.  Fortunately, there are a few great Pokemon games where you can have a fantastic Ghost team who’ll curse your opponents and haunt your way to victory!  Let’s take a look which Pokemon games will be great for a Monotype Run (or Single Type Run) for you and your Ghost Pokemon.  But first…

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

Best Games

The best games, by far, for a Ghost Type Run have to be Pokemon Sun, Moon, Ultra Sun, and Ultra Moon.  These games just nail it on every front.  First, they have the highest amount of Ghost Pokemon as of Generation VII.  There are 13 unique Ghost families in Sun and Moon and 16 in USUM.  And they are really good Ghosts like Golurk, Gengar, Alolan Marowak, Palossand, Aegislash, and Decidueye.  You also have a nice abundance of Ghost Pokemon on the first island thanks to Hau’oli Cemetery and later Sableye on Ten Carat Hill.  You also have Rowlett as your starter which evolves into a Ghost type which is FREAKING AWESOME.  So far, it’s the only starter that can evolve into a Ghost which makes these games a lot less frustrating for a Ghost run.  Finally, as of Generation VII, these are the only games in the series where you can catch a Gengar.  That’s right!  No need to trade!  Go to the Thrifty Megamart, find a Haunter, use an adrenaline orb on it, chip its health down, and just sit and wait for it to call a Gengar.  It will take awhile (as seen in this handy video) but you will eventually catch one.  It’s because of these reasons that the Sun and Moon games are the best, by far, Ghost run games.

However, it will be tricky, especially at the beginning because Bite and Pursuit is very common for low level Pokemon so they can easily destroy the fragile Ghosts.  Also, the first Totem Pokemon can be an Alolan Raticate so that’s rough.  Thankfully, Rowlett would not evolve into Decidueye by then so you’ll be on equal footing by the time you face off against them.  There’s also a huge abundance of Dark Pokemon on your first island so you’ll need to tread carefully as you gather your team.

There are a few other games you can consider but they rank in “B” territory for me.  Pokemon XY can cover your weaknesses and give you variety but your first Pokemon, Nincada and Honedge, won’t come until after the first gym so you’ll need to be patient.  On the flip side, you can catch a Nincada in ORAS before the first gym but you’ll be starved of Ghost Pokemon until the end of the game (made even worse if you’re playing OmegaRuby as Sableye is exclusive to AlphaSapphire).

Worst Games

Yeah…just avoid Red, Blue, Yellow, FireRed, LeafGreen.  You only got the Gengar line which is available long after the third gym and you can’t get a Gengar unless you trade.  This is a very terrible run for Ghosts.  Please avoid for your own sake.

I’d also avoid the Johto games as well.  Gold, Silver, and Crystal gives you a Gastly via Sprout Tower before the first gym but you’re still gonna just have that Haunter (HGSS gives you a Misdreavus at least in the Safari Zone).  Black, White, and B2W2, give you a decent selection of Ghosts but you’ll have to wait until after the third gym to catch one.  Finally, Ruby and Pearl are inferior games to their already flawed counterparts due to version-exclusive Ghosts.

Ghost Teams in Pokemon Games

Pokemon RBY and FRLG
Ideal Team: Haunter
First available Pokémon: Gastly at Lavender Tower, after the third gym
Covers weaknesses? No, Ghost and Dark moves are not covered

 

Pokemon GSC and HGSS
Ideal Team: Haunter, Misdreavus (HGSS via Safari Zone)
First Pokémon: Gastly via Sprout Tower (or at night at Route 30 in Pokémon Crystal) before the first gym; Gastly can also be caught on the Pokewalker.
Covers Weaknesses? No, Ghost and Dark not neutralized

 

Pokemon RSE and ORAS
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.

 

Pokemon DPP
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

 

Pokemon BW and B2W2
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

 

Pokemon XY
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

 

Pokemon SM and USUM
SM Ideal Team: Decidueye, Sableye, Palossand, Aegislash(scan), Gengar (S.O.S. by Haunter in Thrifty Megamark after the Ula’ula Trials), Mimikyu
Optional: Trevanant, Dhelmise, Froslass, Drifblim, Chandelure (scan), Mismagius, Alolan Marowak
First Pokémon: Rowlett via Starter
Cover weaknesses? Yes

USUM Ideal Team: Decidueye, Sableye, Palossand/Golurk (US), Aegislash(scan), Gengar (S.O.S. by Haunter in Thrifty Megamark after the Ula’ula Trials), Mimikyu
Optional: Trevanant, Dhelmise, Froslass, Drifblim, Chandelure (scan), Mismagius, Banette, Jellicent, Alolan Marowak
First Pokémon: Rowlett via Starter
Cover weaknesses? Yes

 

MVP (Most Valuable Pokemon)

Image result for Decidueye

Decidueye

At the top of our list is Decidueye, with only four in-game appearances there is a lot going for him.  Mainly, Decidueye is the strongest non-Legendary, non-Mega Ghost Pokemon as of Generation VII.  This combined with their status as a starter Pokemon means you have your strongest team member right from the get-go.

I think your biggest flaw with Decidueye is his rather low movepool diversity.  Don’t get me wrong, the moves it can learn are strong and rather exclusive but…not very diverse type-wise and that’s probably the Grass pairing weighing him down.   Also, there is the elephant in the room with Decidueye being a starter from a later generation so availability is very limited at this time.

As a side note, I feel sorry about Dhelmise which was also introduced in this generation and is also very strong.  Hopefully, you’ll get a chance to shine later, anchor-buddy!

Available in: SM and USUM

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Sableye (and to an extent Spiritomb)

At the time of this writing, there are unfortunately no Ghost/Normal Pokemon officially released.  Which is a shame as that pairing can give you a Pokemon that’s totally immune to Ghost moves.  Thankfully, we have Sableye (and I guess Spiritomb) who can solve both your Ghost AND Dark problems!

Spiritomb’s availability is very limited but Sableye is much more common which is why we’re primarily focusing on Sableye.  It’s stats are…okay…and honestly really lacking if I have to be honest.  But it’s a trade off.  You get subpar stats for a much-needed defensive typing and a decent moveset.  Sabeleye can learn Dazzling Gleam which is ballin’ so take that Dark types!  And those Dark and Ghost moves are really nice to stick it to Ghost enemies who may take you down with one hit.

Why not both?  If you want Spiritomb and Sableye you can pick up AlphaSapphire.  It’s one of the few games where you can pick up Spiritomb and not go through all sorts of crazy, underground, shenanigans.  You can capture one before the Elite Four which is nice but…why not train a Mega Sableye instead???  Instantly Sableye’s medicore stats are boosted and you get a great defensive Pokemon ready to shield your attacks.  Poor Spiritomb…at least you got OmegaRuby?

Available in:Ruby and Emerald (Sableye), XY (Sableye), OmegaRuby (Spiritomb), AlphaSapphire (Spiritomb and Sableye), SM and USUM (Sableye)

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Aegislash

Aegislash’s arrival came a hair too late as Steel lost its resistances to Dark and Ghost in Generation VI.  Very unfortunate but not the end of the world.  Aegislash has some of the best stats either offensive or defensive for any Ghost Pokemon.  Many competitive players use Aegislash’s form change to strike hard and strong and play defensive and cool.  It’s super versatile and damn is it a cool Pokemon.  Like Decidueye, its movepool is alright but who cares?? Those attack stats are out of this world (150)!  A STAB Iron Head or Shadow Ball (and to an extent the priority move Shadow Sneak) can just obliterate opponents, throw in Sacred Sword and your golden.

Main issues here are its HP and Speed which are lackluster.  So if you’re in Blade Forme and get hit by something you’re probably out of here.  Bye bye.  Still, the move King’s Shield can lower an opponents Attack stat so you can have them suffer.  Open yourself back up and swish, slash!

Available in:XY, SM and USUM (Island Scan)

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Chandelure

Chandelure is a fantastic, and surprisingly common, Pokemon in its own right and should always be considered when doing a Ghost run.  It has a whopping 145 Special Attack stat which is just incredible.  A STAB Shadow Ball and Flamethrower is enough to carry Chandulure around.  If you want, you can burn your opponents with Will-o-wisp and use Hex which doubles its power to 130 (by comparison, Shadow Ball’s power is 80).

Hex can also be used with one of Chandelure’s abilities, Flame Body which has a 30% of burning an opponent if it physically attacks you.  On the flip side, the Flash Fire ability makes you immune to Fire attacks and charges up your Fire moves instead.  This can work very well if you have Shedinja, Decidueye, Trevanant, Dhelmise, Gourgeist, Froslass, or Aegislash on your team as you can bait an enemy Fire Pokemon, switch to Chandelure, take the hit and use Shadow Ball on them.

Only faults?  This is minor but Chandelure’s Speed and bulk are okay.  Not bad, not good, just average.  You also won’t get an incredible move diversity out of Chandelure besides the usual Ghost, Dark, and Psychic moves that practically all Ghost Pokemon have.  The Grass-move Energy Ball is nice though as well as its plethora of Fire moves.  And who needs diversity when you have Calm Mind?  Use that once or twice and just go to town!

Available in: BW, B2W2, XY, SM and USUM (Island Scan)

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Golurk

When you’re doing a Monotype Run, you want to find the oddballs.  The Pokemon who get off the bandwagon and do their own thing.  These Pokemon, like Golurk, can round out your team and give you diversity that’s not just about weakness-neutralization.  Golurk is, to put it simply, everything a Ghost Pokemon is not.  It’s bulky, not particularly fast, has very low Special Attack, and it has high Physical Attack.  Like, really high.  124 to be exact.  Few other regular Ghost Pokemon, except my beloved Dhelmise and Aegislash, exceed that stat.

Here’s the thing.  Golurk can actually use this stat to its full advantage!  Dhelmise and Aegislash, and a lot of other Ghosts for that matter, struggle to reach the movepool that Golurk has achieved.  This combined with Golurk’s Iron Fist ability makes him a BEAST.  Hammer Arm, Shadow Punch, Dynamic Punch, and Focus Punch can be learned by leveling up while the elemental punches and Drain Punch can be taught by Move Tutor (best used in B2W2 or US).  Golurk can also learn Earthquake, Rock Slide, and Heavy Slam; physical moves that other Ghosts don’t even have a chance, a dream, to properly use or learn.

Available in: BW, B2W2, XY, US

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Gengar/Haunter

The Gengar line in Pokemon is such a twisted, crazy mess that I debated whether to include them or not.  The biggest thing, by far, that’s holding them back is the required trading to evolve your Haunter which breaks the rules of the run.  If it wasn’t for that they would be top of this list, no doubt.  But they’re not and we have to sort through this to understand why Gastly, Haunter, and Gengar can still be very important to you and your team.

Of course, they are the first Ghosts that were introduced in Pokemon.  And this early introduction combined with Ghosts’ scarcity, makes them the most common Ghost line in all the Pokemon games by far.  They are catchable before the Elite Four in 19 games as of Generation VII (the next most common line, Misdreavus, is catchable in 9 games).  A few of these games are pretty early too!  In the Johto games you can catch a Gastly before the first gym, in Sinnoh it’s shortly after the first gym, and Alola you can get them in the cemetery shortly before the first trial.

Haunter and Gengar can also learn some nice moves like Thunderbolt and Dazzling Gleam.  If you’re training one before Generation IV you can teach them Ice, Thunder, and Fire Punch which they will use very well thanks to their high Special Attack.  Gengar can also learn Focus Blast too.  Sludge Bomb is also great for potential poison damage.

Despite being a second stage, Haunter is quite fast and has a really nice Special Attack stat (115).  However, it’s incredibly fragile and a decent physical attack move can shut it down.  But still, Haunter is really cool!  I’ve trained Haunter several times when I was much younger on Pokemon Blue and it was great!

There’s also some good news for you Gengar purists.  If you want a Gengar you can catch one in Sun, Moon, UltraSun, and UltraMoon!  I mentioned it earlier but if you go to the Thrifty Megamart after its trial and force a Haunter to call for help, there’s a chance it will call a Gengar.  However, this is a very tedious process so be prepared to hang tight and be patient.  This video demonstrates the procedure and how long it takes.  Thankfully, once you catch your Gengar, you are ready to go to town on your opponents with a very powerful, and iconic, Ghost Pokemon!

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

Best Pokemon Games for a Bug Type Run

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

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

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

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

Rules

  1. Only Pokémon of a certain type may be caught and trained.
  2. You must catch the first Pokémon available of that type if your starter does not match that type (you’ll then have to discard that starter).
  3. You may train a Pokémon that evolves to said type as long as you do it ASAP.
  4. No trading allowed.
  5. Mega Pokémon count as long as you Mega Evolve them as soon as they appear on the battlefield.
  6. Only Pokémon caught before Elite Four are counted.
Single Type Chart  Version 1.1

Consult the chart for a quick look at Bug and other types for your run

Worst Pokémon Games

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

 

Best Pokémon Games

The rest of the games honestly range from decent to fantastic; in fact, a lot of them have a “1A” rating as seen in the chart above. Even starting in Generation 2 we have a team that can neutralize weaknesses thanks to Heracross and Shuckle.

Personally, I like Black 2 and Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. The other games are great but these are packing some of the best bugs around! What these games have in common is a slow but steady increase of teammates throughout the game and a nice variety of Pokémon to cover your weak points. These games also have the rare but coveted Move Tutors who can teach you anything from Scolipede’s Aqua Tail to Forretress’ Stealth Rock. Check out the team combos below.

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

 

Bug Teams in Pokemon Games

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

 

Pokemon GSC and HGSS
Ideal Team: Heracross, Venomoth, Shuckle, Parasect, Scyther/Yanmega, Forretress
Optional: Butterfree (G, C, HG), Beedril (S, C, SS), Ledian (S, C, SS), Ariados (G, C, HG)
First Pokémon: Caterpie (G, C, HG)/Weedle (S, C, SS)/Ledyba (S, C, SS)/Spinarak (G, C, HG) in Route 30 before the first gym. Venonat and Paras via Pokewalker.
Covers Weaknesses? Yes

 

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

 

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

 

Pokemon BW and B2W2
BW Ideal Team: Scolipede, Leavanny, Crustle, Galvantula, Volcarona, Durant
Optional: Karrablast, Shelmet
First Pokémon: Sewaddle and Venipede via Pinwheel forest after second gym
Cover weaknesses? Yes

B2W2 Ideal Team: Galvantula, Scolipede, Crustle, Vespiquen, Heracross/Leavanny, Volcarona
Optional: Karrablast, Shelmet, Pinsir, Shuckle
First Pokémon: Sewaddle via Route 20 before the first gym
Cover weaknesses?  Yes.  HOWEVER, be warned that in White 2 you can only get a Heracross via Hidden Grotto in Lostlorn Forest and even then it has a 0.75% of appearing.  So technically you can cover your weaknesses it would just be very annoying.  At least in Black 2 you don’t need the Hidden Grotto.

 

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

 

Pokemon SM and USUM
SM Ideal Team: Vikavolt, Golisopod/Aquachnid, Scolipede (scan), Masquerain, Romblebee
Optional: Parasect, Butterfree, Ledian
First Pokémon: Caterpie, Ledyba, Grubbin, and Spinarak via Route 1
Cover weaknesses? No, Rock is not neutralized in Sun and Moon

USUM Ideal Team: Vikavolt, Golisopod/Aquachnid, Volcarona, Forretress, Armaldo (US)/Masquerain, Romblebee
Optional: Masquerain, Parasect, Butterfree, Ledian, Ariados, Beedril (scan)
First Pokémon: Caterpie, Ledyba, Grubbin, and Spinarak via Route 1
Cover weaknesses? Yes, every type is taken care of

 

MVP (Most Valuable Pokémon)

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Heracross

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

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

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

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

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Volcarona

Volcarona is the most powerful, non-Legendary and non-Mega evolved Bug Pokémon (quite a mouthful). Impressive on its own but even more impressive is its unique Fire/Bug typing, a type only it and its prevolution share as of Generation 7. As such, Volcarona can learn a plethora of Fire-based attacks and even Psychic via TM. Let me doubly stress this as Volcarona is the ONLY Bug Pokémon that can learn Fire attacks; Fire attacks can hit so many Pokémon super effectively and is a must for your team. The fantastic Quiver Dance is also nice as each use raises your Sp At., Sp Def., and Speed, by one stage each (already raising its monstrous Special Attack stat). Once you up your stats, use Roost (by TM or by Move Tutor), replenish your health, and go to town! If you’re feeling up to it, you can even teach it Hurricane for a very strong Flying move.

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

Available in: BW, B2W2, ORAS, USUM

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Shuckle, Armaldo, and Crustle

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

Unfortunately, their move diversity is just okay. They know some Ground moves, maybe a Poison or Ghost move, but you’re not going to get anything more than that, especially for earlier generations. They’re also pretty slow so be prepared to take a hit or two before you can finish off an opponent. And ironically, they’re still weak to Rock! Don’t forget about that! I have done that more than a few times.

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

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Forretress and Durant (and I guess Trash Wormadam)

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

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

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

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Galvantula and Vikavolt

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

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

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Golisopod and Araquanid

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

Best Monotype Runs for Pokemon Black, White, and B2W2

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

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

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

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

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.

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Best and Worst Types for Black 2 and White 2

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

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

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

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Types

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

B2W2
Ideal Team: Galvantula, Scolipede, Crustle, Vespiquen, Heracross/Leavanny, Volcarona
Optional: Karrablast, Shelmet, Pinsir, Shuckle
First Pokémon: Sewaddle via Route 20 before the first gym
Cover weaknesses?  Yes.  HOWEVER, be warned that in White 2 you can only get a Heracross via Hidden Grotto in Lostlorn Forest and even then it has a 0.75% of appearing.  So technically you can cover your weaknesses it would just be very annoying.  At least in Black 2 you don’t need the Hidden Grotto.

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

B2W2
Ideal Team: Emboar, Lucario/Cobalion, Scrafty, Mienshao, Virizion, Terrakion
Optional: Gurdurr, Sawk, Throh, Heracross
First Pokémon: Tepig via starter
Cover weaknesses? Yes
Note: Heads up that in White 2 you can only get a Heracross via Hidden Grotto in Lostlorn Forest and even then it has a 0.75% of appearing.  Black 2 they are easier to catch and don’t need the Hidden Grotto.

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

Best Pokemon Games for a Ground Type Run

Image result for ground pokemon

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

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

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

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

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

Single Type Chart  Version 1.1

Best Games

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

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

Pokemon Platinum

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

Optional Pokémon: Graveler, Onix, Steelix

First Pokémon: Turtwig via starter

 

Pokemon X and Y

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

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

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

 

Worst Games

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

 

MVP (Most Valuable Pokemon)

Image result for gastrodon
Water/Ground Pokemon

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

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

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

Image result for torterraImage result for swampert

Torterra and Swampert

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

Available in: Pokemon RSE, DPP, and ORAS

Trapinch artwork by Ken SugimoriGible artwork by Ken Sugimori

Ground/Dragon Pokemon

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

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

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

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

Image result for hippowdon

Hippowdon

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

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

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

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

Available in: DPP and XY

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

Ground/Steel Pokemon

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

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

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

Nidoqueen and Nidoking

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

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

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

 

Image result for krookodile

Krookodile

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

Available in: B2W2 and onwards

Best Monotype Runs for Pokemon X and Y

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

Rules

  1.   You can only catch and train Pokémon of a certain type.  Once you capture your first Pokemon of that type, disregard any previous Pokemon on your team.
  2.   If a Pokémon evolves to said type you may train it but evolve it ASAP.
  3.   No trading allowed
  4.   If a Pokémon changes to said type via Mega Evolution you are allowed to train it provided you Mega evolve it every time.
  5.   Only Pokémon caught before the Elite Four are counted.
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 Monotype Run.  I’m serious, pick a type and you’re bound to have a good time.  But what if you want the very best? In my opinion, the best of the best are Flying, Water, and Fighting.  What these three types have in common are high diversity of strong Pokemon.  You can have multiple variations of each type and easily cover their weaknesses.  The hardest thing about their runs is picking your final six. I myself did a Fighting Run recently and it was tough for me to narrow it down.  You have Chesnaught, Lucario, Toxicroak, Hawlucha, and so forth who can give you a great diversity of moves. Water Pokemon can give you a healthy team for role diversity in terms of defense, support, and attack (and Greninja is always nice).  Flying Type also has a lot of gems, most notably Gliscor, Charizard, and Honchkrow. All of these types are available very early and consistently give you new Pokemon to play with as you progress.

The Worst Types


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

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

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

 

Type Teams

Bug

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

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

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

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

 

Dark

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

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