With the quasi-remake of Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow, “Pokémon Let’s Go!,” coming out this year I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to write another Single Type Run article. As mentioned before, a Single Type (or Monotype) Run in Pokémon is a playthrough where you only train a certain Pokémon type. And boy howdy the Kanto games are probably the most difficult and/or frustrating games in the main series for a Single Type Run. A low diversity and a low amount of available Pokémon make some types almost unplayable. But there’s still some good ones out there so let’s take a look!
As usual, in a Single Type Run you can only train Pokémon of a certain type, if a starter is not your chosen type you must capture the first available Pokémon of that type as soon as possible. You may train a Pokémon that does not belong to that type provided you evolve it to that type asap. Finally, we’re only counting Pokémon catchable before the Elite Four with no trading allowed. Check out the chart below for more information on other games.
The Normal type had its heyday in Generation 1. Iconic Pokémon like Snorlax, Jigglypuff, and Tauros are all found in these games. Of course, you have Normal Pokémon available immediately at Route 1 like Rattata and Pidgey so right away you have yourself a team (good luck with Brock, though!). What’s more, you have a plethora of Flying/Normal Pokémon like Pidgeot, Dodrio, and Spearow that can protect you from fighters. Normal Pokémon can also learn a diverse array of special moves so you can teach them the likes of Surf, Ice Beam, and Thunderbolt to take down any foe that stands in your way.
From Normal, we quickly fall into a range of types that range from pretty decent to meh. There are tons of Water, Flying, and Poison Pokémon with great move diversity but watch out for their weaknesses. Zapdos makes an Electric type run interesting but be prepared for low movepool diversity. If you’re patient, you can catch a Geodude at Mount Moon and do a Rock type run. The Rock type actually has all its weaknesses covered thanks to the fossil Pokémon but you won’t be playing with a full unique team. And speaking of Geodude, a Ground type run would be another decent run thanks to the Nidorans being available fairly early on (just watch out for Water moves!).
It may not be a shock to you but Dragon, Ghost, and Ice types are just a generally bad idea all together. There’s only one Ghost and Dragon family and they’re available mid and late game respectively (plus you would only be dealing with a Haunter if you didn’t trade). Ice types are a little better as there are some decent Ice Pokémon but they’re available at best mid-game. And God forbid you decide to do a Steel or Dark type run for FireRed and LeafGreen. The only Steel type would be the Magnemite line (catchable after you can surf) and Gamefreak decided, for some reason, you couldn’t evolve an Eevee into an Umbreon so there’s no way you can catch and train a Dark type at all.
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.
Ideal Team: Dragonite
First available Pokémon: Dratini via Safari Zone
Covers weaknesses? No, Ice and Dragon not covered
Ideal Team: Raichu/Pikachu, Electrode, Electabuzz (Red, FireRed), Magneton, Jolteon, Zapdos
First available Pokémon: Pikachu in Viridian Forest or Pikachu as a starter in Yellow
Covers weaknesses? Yes
Ideal Team: Wigglytuff, Clefable, Mr. Mime
First available Pokémon: Jigglypuff right before Mount Moon.
Covers weaknesses? No, Poison or Steel are not neutralized
Ideal Team: Machoke, Hitmonlee/Hitmonchan, Primeape (Red, Yellow, FireRed), Poliwrath
First available Pokémon: Mankey via Route 5, after the second gym
Covers weaknesses? No, Flying or Psychic not neutralized.
Ideal Team: Charizard, Arcanine (Red, FireRed, Yellow)/Ninetales (Blue, LeafGreen, Yellow), Magmar (Blue, LeafGreen), Flareon, Rapidash, Moltres
First available Pokémon: Charmander via starter or via Route 24 after Mt. Moon in Yellow.
Covers weaknesses? No, Rock or Water not neutralized.
Ideal Team: Charizard, Dragonite, Aerodactyl, Gyarados, Zapdos, Articuno
Optional Pokémon: Pidgeot, Fearow, Dodrio, Scyther (Red, FireRed, Yellow)
First available Pokémon: Charmander via starter or Pidgey (Yellow) via Route 1.
Covers weaknesses? No, Rock is not covered.
Ideal Team: Haunter
First available Pokémon: Gastly at Lavender Tower
Covers weaknesses? No, Ghost (and for that matter Psychic and Ground) are not covered
Ideal Team: Venusaur, Exeggutor, Vileplume (Red, FireRed, Yellow), Victreebel (Blue, LeafGreen, Yellow), Parasect, Tangela
First available Pokémon: Bulbasaur via starter or Paras via Mt. Moon in Yellow
Covers weaknesses? No, Flying, Ice, or Fire not neutralized.
Ideal Team: Nidoking, Nidoqueen, Rhydon, Onix, Dugtrio, Sandslash (Blue, LeafGreen, and Yellow)
Optional Pokémon: Graveler (or Golem if you can evolve it)
First available Pokémon: Nidorans in Route 22
Covers weaknesses? No, Water and Ice are not neutralized.
Ideal Team: Lapras, Articuno, Dewgong, Jynx (all versions except Yellow), Cloyster
First available Pokémon: Shellder via the Super Rod (from Route 12 from a fisherman), attainable after you complete Lavender Tower and move the Snorlax. Shellder can be fished in various areas of Kanto.
Covers weaknesses? No, Rock is not neutralized.
Ideal Team: Snorlax, Tauros, Clefable, Pidgeot, Chansey, Wigglytuff
Optional Pokémon: Porygon, Fearow, Dodrio
First available Pokémon: Pidgey and Rattata in Route 1
Covers weaknesses? Yes!
Ideal Team: Venomoth, Golbat, Venusaur, Nidoking, Nidoqueen, Tentacruel
Optional Pokémon: Vileplume (Red, FireRed, Yellow), Victreebel (Blue, LeafGreen, Yellow), Haunter, Weezing (all versions except Yellow), Arbok (Red, FireRed)
First available Pokémon: Bulbasaur via starter or Nidorans via Route 22 in Yellow
Covers weaknesses? No, Psychic not neutralized.
Ideal Team: Kadabra, Mr. Mime, Exeggutor, Jynx (all versions except Yellow), Starmie, Slowbro
First available Pokémon: Abra via Route 24 after Mount Moon.
Covers weaknesses? No, Bug and Ghost are not neutralized.
Ideal Team: Graveler, Rhydon, Onix, Aerodactyl, Omastar/Kabutops
First available Pokémon: Geodude at Mount Moon
Covers weaknesses? Surprisingly, yes.
Ideal Team: Magneton
First available Pokémon: Magnemite via Power Plant through surfing (need the Soul Badge)
Covers weaknesses? No, Ground, Fighting, and Fire not neutralized.
Ideal Team: Blastoise, Slowbro, Poliwrath, Lapras, Tentacruel, Vaporeon
Optional Pokémon: Starmie, Gyrados, Omastar/Kabutops, Cloyster, Dewgong
First available Pokémon: Squirtle via starter or Magikarp via the Pokecenter just before Mt. Moon in Yellow
Covers weaknesses? No, Electric is not neutralized.