Tag Archives: Pokemon ORAS

Best Pokemon Games for a Water Type Run

Without a doubt, the Water type is among the best types in Pokemon for a Monotype Run.  A Monotype Run is a run where you only train one type of Pokemon throughout the whole game.  Water is perfect for this as, with very few exceptions, you are bound to have a Water starter in your game.  Water is also the best starter type because it has only two weaknesses (unlike Grass) and it’s quite abundant (unlike Fire).  As such, you can pick a random Pokemon game and you are more than likely to have a great team.  Let’s find out which games are the best though (and the worst) and which Pokemon you should look out for!

Rules

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

Pokemon Monotype Chart Version 2.02

Worst Games

There’s really only one “bad” game out there and that’s Pokemon Yellow.  Obviously, you have that Pikachu starter so that’s a setback but the real kicker is that your first Pokemon is after the first gym AND it’s Magikarp!  You buy it from the shady guy at the Pokemon Center near Mount Moon.  So you basically have to train with a Magikarp until level 20 so if you’re up for the challenge then go for it! Haha.  Honestly though, if you want to play in Kanto just pick RBY or FRLG and you’re in for a fun time.

Best Games

Yeesh this is tough.  Just look at the chart above and you’ll see what I mean!  So many perfect scores.  I got a personal favorite but before I say it check out XY, USUM and SWSH as you can catch over 30 Water Pokemon!!!  XY also has the highest abundance of Pokemon for a Monotype Team for any type (and it has Greninja which is super ballin’)!  So if you want variety go for those!  Generation VII also introduced Pelipper with the Drizzle Ability so if you want to make it rain then those are the games to do it!

But me?  I have to fall back on my tried and true Sapphire, Emerald, and AlphaSapphire for this amazing reason.  Your starter is a Mudkip, who can take care of your Electric problems, and then catch a Wingull, for your Grass problems, and then catch a Lotad for further diversity.  Boom, three Pokemon ready to help you and get you up and running by the first gym!  And if you don’t like Wingull then you get the Old Rod in Dewford Town and fish for a Magikarp!  From there, you can catch a beautiful collection of Water Pokemon that range from Crawdaunt to Tentacruel and the likes of Slowbro and Jellicent in ORAS.  ORAS is also always nice with its cool catching feature so you can find Hidden Abilities and Egg Moves easily! (I love Crawdaunt with Adaptability).

 

Water Teams in Pokemon Games

RBY and FRLG
Ideal Team: Blastoise, Slowbro, Poliwrath, Lapras, Tentacruel, Vaporeon
Optional: Starmie, Gyarados, 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

GSC and HGSS
Ideal Team: Feraligatr, Gyarados, Quagsire, Slowbro/Starmie, Tentacruel, Lanturn
Optional: Lapras/Dewgong/Cloyster, Vaporeon, Seaking, Golduck, Azumarill, Kingler, Corsola, Poliwrath, Octillery (S, G, HG, SS), Mantine (G, C, HG), Suicune
First Pokémon: Totodile via starter
Covers Weaknesses? Yes

RSE and ORAS
Ideal Team: Swampert, Gyarados, Ludicolo (S, E, AS)/Lanturn, Tentacruel, Sharpedo/Crawdaunt, Starmie/Slowbro (ORAS)
Optional: Pelipper, Azumaril, Milotic, Whiscash, Relicanth, Walrein, Wailord, Vaporeon (ORAS), Jellicent (ORAS), Seismitoad (ORAS), Gastrodon (ORAS), Kingler (ORAS), Clawitzer (AS), Lumineon (ORAS), Alomomola (ORAS), Dewgong (ORAS), Barbaracle (ORAS), Kyogre (Sapphire and AS)
First Pokémon: Mudkip via starter
Covers Weaknesses? Yes

DPP
Ideal Team: Empoleon, Quagsire/Whiscash/Gastrodon, Gyarados/Mantine, Tentacruel, Octillery, Vaporeon (Platinum)
Optional: Golduck, Milotic, Azumarill, Floatzel, Lumineon, Palkia (Pearl)
First Pokémon: Piplup via Starter
Covers Weaknesses? Yes

Black/White and Black2/White2
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

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

Sun/Moon and Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon
SM Ideal Team: Primarina, Gyarados/Pelipper, Slowbro/Starmie/Bruxish, Gastrodon, Golisopod/Aquachnid, Lanturn
Optional: Whiscash, Poliwrath, Milotic, Lanturn, Sharpedo, Corsola/Relicanth/Caracosta (Sun), Azumaril (scan), Feraligatr (scan), Cloyster/Lapras/Walrein(scan), Golduck, Vaporeon, Politoed (S.O.S. by any Pokemon in the rain at Malie Garden)
First Pokémon: Popplio via Starter
Cover weaknesses? Yes. Also, heads up, Pelipper now knows the ability Drizzle. Take that into account if you want to make a rain team.

USUM Ideal Team: Primarina, Gyarados/Pelipper, Slowbro/Starmie/Bruxish, Gastrodon, Empoleon (scan), Golisopod/Aquachnid
Optional: Whiscash, Poliwrath, Milotic, Lanturn, Sharpedo/Crawdaunt/Greninja (scan), Tentacruel, Corsola/Relicanth/Caracosta(US), Omastar (US), Kabutops (UM), Jellicent, Clawitzer, Blastoise (scan), Swampert (scan), Cloyster/Lapras/Walrein(scan), Golduck, Vaporeon, Slowking (S.O.S. by Slowpoke in Kala’e Bay), Politoed (S.O.S. by any Pokemon in the rain at Malie Garden)
First Pokémon: Popplio via Starter
Cover weaknesses? Yes. Also, heads up, Pelipper now knows the ability Drizzle. Take that into account if you want to make a rain team.

Sword and Shield
Ideal Team: Inteleon, Gyarados, Gastrodon, Dracovish, Araquanid, Ludicolo (Shield)/Cloyster
Optional: 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.

 

MVP (Most Valuable Pokemon)

Top 6 Water Starters in Pokemon | LevelSkip

Your Starter

With over 100 Water Pokemon available, it would be overwhelming to list a whole bunch of Pokemon so I’m going to limit it to five key roles that’ll include multiple Pokemon.

By far, the most valuable member on your team is your Water Starter!  Excluding Yellow and the Let’s Go games, you are guaranteed a Water Starter at the start of the game!  Because of this, the Water Starters are the principal reasons why the Water Type is the best type to do a Monotype Run.  They are quite formidable and rank among the strongest non-Mega, non-Legendary Water Pokemon.  The starters come in many different flavors whether it’s their dual typing, stat distribution, Mega forms, or unique moves.

They’re all great but there are some that stand out to me.  Swampert’s Ground typing gives it a nice immunity to Electric moves and a STAB Earthquake attack.  Empoleon’s unique Steel/Water typing gives it a basket of resistances.  Greninja is fast, knows Water Shuriken, and is very cool looking.  And Blastoise can Mega Evolve and learns a a diverse set of moves.  The other four are amazing as well; pick one and have at it!

Quagsire Pokédex: stats, moves, evolution & locations | Pokémon ...

Water/Ground

You only have two weaknesses to worry about; Grass and Electric.  Thankfully, you gain a necessary Electric immunity with Water/Ground Pokemon who are super popular and can be found in almost every game!  Not only can they act as a necessary wall but they also have those sweet STAB, Super Effective attacks against your Electric foes!

There are five familes of W/G Pokemon; Quagsire, Swampert, Whiscash, Gastrodon, and Seismitoad.  And the nice thing is they all range from decent to great with some bringing unique abilities or moves to the table.  The OG Quagsire can learn Earthquake naturally since Gen 2 and has the Water Absorb Ability.  Swampert is a starter and can Mega evolve in ORAS.  Gastrodon has the highest Special Attack among the five, naturally learns Earth Power, and knows Water Drain. Seismitoad is ugly and has Swift Swim.  And Whiscash is there.

Of course, the biggest thing to worry about is that 4x weakness to Grass, just don’t even think about facing an Oddish!  Thankfully, you’ll have another team member that will spot you…

Swanna Pokédex: stats, moves, evolution & locations | Pokémon Database

Water/Flying

There since Generation 1, you are guaranteed to find a Water/Flying Pokemon in every game.  That’s awesome!  Sure, there are other Pokemon out there that can wall Grass types like Tentacruel (who is most excellent) but they are nowhere near as common as these flying bois.  They are one of the main reasons why your weaknesses are covered in throughout the games.  They’re pretty much the antithesis of their Ground brethren who lose a weakness but gain a 4x weakness; in this case to Electric moves.

Okay, so Gyarados is incredibly popular, strong and very common!  So when you’re fulfilling your dream role of being an amazing Water trainer then have this sucker on your team!  Biggest thing to think about though is Gyarados has a dismal lack of Flying moves and, imo, doesn’t really become useful until Gen 4 when the Physical/Special split happened.  Still, he can learn a lot of strong physical moves which is great!  If you want Flying moves consider maybe Cramorant or Swanna who can learn them naturally and easily by TMs.  Also, Pelipper, in later generations, has the Drizzle Ability which is super sweet.  Mantine is alright but at least has some decent bulk.

Slowbro Pokédex: stats, moves, evolution & locations | Pokémon ...

Move Diversity Learners (e.g., Slowbro, Clawitzer, Octillery, Ludicolo)

This is a relatively broad category but basically, many Water Pokemon are kind of limited in their movesets.  99% of them can learn a strong Ice Move, which is incredible, and over half can learn a strong Ground move like Earthquake.  But finding a Pokemon that knows a Fairy, Grass, Fire, or Electric move can be challenging.  You’ll need a Pokemon that can fill in gaps for you!

Slowbro is probably the best example of a multi-talented Pokemon!  Some Pokemon can learn a diverse set of moves but aren’t able to fully utilize them (like Golisopod).  But Slowbro has a high Special Attack AND can learn Flamethrower, Shadow Ball, Signal Beam, and of course Psychic.  Meanwhile, Clawitzer has the Mega Launcher ability so be sure to have it use Dragon Pulse, Aura Sphere, and Water Pulse (and maybe Flash Cannon or Sludge Wave).  Then you have Octillery who can learn Energy Ball, Flamethrower, Flash Cannon, Sludge Wave, and Psychic.  Finally, Ludicolo can learn the Grass attacks, Elemental Punches and potentially learns Zen Headbutt and Drain Punch.  You should also consider other Pokemon like Lanturn, Tentacruel, and Jellicent for move diversity.

Ludicolo Pokédex: stats, moves, evolution & locations | Pokémon ...

Rain Users

Our last group includes all the Pokemon boosted by the rain.  Of course, Water attacks are strengthened while it’s raining and Thunder is 100% accurate but there are Pokemon whose abilities make them much better while it’s raining.  This is definitely beneficial if you happen to have a Pelipper from Gen 7 onward who has the Drizzle Ability.  A lot of Water Pokemon have Rain Dish, Swift Swim, or Hydration abilities which are activated in the rain.  Hydration and Rain Dish will be the rarest for you but quite a few Water Pokemon know Swift Swim so if you want to have a fast team then look out for these guys!  For me, I like the idea of having a Rain Dish Ludicolo who can keep chugging along with HP recoveries in Leech Seed, Giga Drain, and Drain Punch.

The Best Pokemon Games for a Grass Type Run

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

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

First here are the rules for a Monotype Run

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

Monotype Chart 2.02

The Best Games

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

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

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

Worst Games

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

MVP (Most Valuable Pokémon)

Your Starter

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

Available in: All the games

Ludicolo

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

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

Grass/Poison Pokémon

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

Available in: All games

250px-598Ferrothorn

Ferrothorn

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

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

Cradily

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

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

 

Image result for alolan exeggutor

Alolan Exeggutor

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

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

 

Mow Rotom

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

Available in: XY, Sword and Shield

Best Monotype Runs in Pokemon Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, and ORAS

pokemon-oras-box-art

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

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

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

Monotype Chart 2.02Without further ado, let’s take a look! A list of full team combinations can be found below as well.

The Best Types

1200px-260swampert

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

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

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

 

The Worst Types

As Hoenn is a tropical island, Ice types are quite rare (only two families) and available very late in the game making them one of the worst types in the entire series to do a run on. Although not as difficult, Dragon Pokémon are rare and the first Pokémon you can catch would be a Swablu well after the third gym. However, ORAS significantly changes this as Sceptile’s Mega Evolution is Grass/Dragon which makes it available from the start. The Dragon type becomes amazing as you can catch the likes of Hydregion, Garchomp, and the Lati@s in these games (just watch out for Ice moves!). Finally, Electric type is rather poor in these games due to their lackluster diversity and the first one you can catch is after the second gym in ORAS (but you can skip Brawly in RSE by giving Steven the letter, go to Route 110, catch your Electric Pokemon, then fight him).

 

Team Combinations

Bug

Ideal Team: Dustox/Venomoth (ORAS)/Beedril (ORAS), Heracross, Volcarona (ORAS), Forretress (ORAS), Galvantula (ORAS), Armaldo/Crustle (ORAS)

Optional Pokémon: Pinsir, Beautifly, Shedinja, Ninjask, Leavanny (ORAS), Parasect (ORAS), Kricketune (ORAS)

First Pokémon: Wurmple via Route 101

Covers Weaknesses? Yes

 

Dark

Ideal Team:  Crawdaunt/Sharpedo, Honchkrow (ORAS), Krookodile (ORAS), Drapion (ORAS), Hydreigon (ORAS), Scrafty (ORAS)

Optional Pokémon: Absol, Mightyena, Umbreon (ORAS), Zoroark (ORAS), Mega-Gyarados (ORAS), Spiritomb (ORAS), Sabeleye (S, E, AS), Shiftry (R, E, OR)/Cacturne

First Pokémon: Poochyena via Route 101

Covers Weaknesses? Yes for all versions except Pokemon Ruby

 

Dragon

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

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

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

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

 

Electric

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

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

First Pokémon: Electrike, Plusle, and Minun can be caught at Route 110 after the second gym in ORAS (as well as Magnemite by Horde).  In RSE you can skip the second gym by giving Steven the letter, take the boat to Slateport, and capturing your Pokemon on Route 110.

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

 

Fairy (ORAS only)

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

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

First Pokémon: Ralts via Route 102 before the first gym

Covers Weaknesses? Yes

 

Fighting

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

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

First Pokémon: Torchic via starter

Covers Weaknesses? No, Flying is not neutralized.

 

Fire

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

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

First Pokémon: Torchic via starter

Covers Weaknesses? No, Water and Ground not neutralized.  In OmegaRuby, Water can be taken care of due to Primal Groudon’s Ability.

 

Flying

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

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

First Pokémon: Wurmple via Route 101

Covers Weaknesses? Yes

 

Ghost

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

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

First Pokémon: Nincada in Route 116 before the first gym

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

 

Grass

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

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

First Pokémon: Treecko via starter

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

 

Ground

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

Optional Pokémon: Graveler, Donphan, Claydol, Whiscash/Seismitoad (ORAS)/Gastrodon (ORAS), Dugtrio (ORAS), Groudon (Ruby and OR)

First Pokémon: Mudkip via starter

Covers Weaknesses? Yes

 

Ice

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

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

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

 

Normal

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

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

First Pokémon: Zigzagoon in Route 101

Covers Weaknesses? Yes

 

Poison

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

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

First Pokémon: Wurmple via Route 101

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

 

Psychic

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

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

First Pokémon: Ralts via Route 102 before the first gym

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

 

Rock

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

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

First Pokémon: Geodude and Aron (RSE only) via Granite Cave shortly before the second gym

Covers Weaknesses? Yes

 

Steel

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

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

First Pokémon: In RSE, Aron via Granite Cave shortly before the second gym.  However, in ORAS, the second floor basement is blocked off and you need a Mach Bike to access it.  As such Aron is acquired after the second gym (as well as Mawile in OR).  The earliest Steel Pokemon you can catch in ORAS is a Magnemite via Horde Encounter on Route 110, also after the second gym.

Covers Weaknesses? Yes

 

Water

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

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

First Pokémon: Mudkip via starter

Covers Weaknesses? Yes

 

The Best Pokémon Games and Types for a Monotype Run

Major Update 12/22/2019: The article now includes additional analysis from Pokemon SWSH as well as a brand new Monotype Chart!!!  Check it out, and let me know what you think.  Thanks as always for reading!

Self-made video game challenges and runs have been a staple in recent gaming and can create exciting and new ways to replay your favorite games. There are a whole variety of them ranging from a no-kill run in Metal Gear Solid to only using your knife as a weapon in Resident Evil 4. Pokémon is no exception to this rule as one of the most famous video game challenges of all time is the Nuzlocke Run which actually makes the Pokémon games exceedingly difficult. Today, I offer you a different sort of run, one that although is not as challenging as a Nuzlocke Run, is still very enjoyable. I give you, a Monotype Run/Challenge.

Simply put, a Monotype Run (or Single Type Run) is where you catch Pokémon who only belong to a certain type whether it is Water, Bug, Dark, or Dragon. If a Pokémon does not have a type in that category then it’s out.   This is a great challenge I think because you can form a team around your favorite type(s) and not have to worry much about picking your favorites. Your team’s weaknesses are what make this challenging as you have to look out for moves or Pokémon that may defeat you. And to be fair, this isn’t exactly a brand new, exciting concept; many people have done this Run for a long time. That is why today, I’m going in depth and telling you what Pokémon games and types are the best for a Monotype Run. Let’s take a look!

If you want to cut right to the chase, just click the image below that will explain everything to you concisely. Below the chart I have written my methods in approaching this monumental task and the overall best games and types for a Monotype Run.

Monotype Chart 2.02Before I analyzed a whole bunch of different pokedexes, I had to design a series of rules to make sure I kept my analysis consistent which are as follows.

  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., Nidoran in a Ground type Run or Caterpie in a Flying type Run) may be caught but must be evolved as soon as possible.
  3. Trading is not allowed
  4. Only Pokemon caught before Elite Four are applicable for your team.
  5. Mega Evolutions that changes a Pokémon to your type are allowed provided you mega evolve the Pokémon as soon as their battle begins.

Of course, everyone has their own version of the rules and that’s totally fine! This is just how I approached the analysis.

In order to determine which Pokémon games are the best for a Monotype Run I had to design a categorizing system that was nonsubjective. What’s more, I had to find a simple but effective rating system that can satisfy all 516 possible combinations between typing and the games. This was solved by a dual grading system using numbers and letters. Every typing and video game combination has a letter (S-F) and number grade for how beneficial a Monotype Run would be. Numbers indicate a game’s type diversity by the amount of unique Pokémon of that type you can catch.  Letters indicate how early you can catch a Pokémon: S=Your first Pokémon is your starter; A=First Pokémon you can catch is before the 1st gym; B=Between the 1st-2nd gym; C=Between the 2nd-3rd gym; D=Between the 3rd-4th gym; F=After the 4th gym. For the Sun and Moon games I used the trials in place of gyms since they acted as similar milestones.  Finally, the asterisk symbol, “*”, represents a team that neutralizes all the weaknesses.  For example, if you were to do a Ground type run in Pokémon Red, you would have a 6A rating (i.e., you can catch at least six, fully-evolved Ground type Pokémon and the first Pokémon you can catch, the Nidorans, is before the first gym but you are exposed to your Ice and Water weaknesses).

As such, teams with a rating of *6A or higher are the Runs you are looking for. You can catch a Pokémon fairly early on and you can get a diversified team that has all of its weaknesses covered. A *6S rating is the best because you will have your Starter right from the getgo! Surprisingly, given all the strict guidelines, we see a huge amount of teams that can match these strict standards, especially in the later games.

For the purpose of saving a lot of headaches, trading was not included in the Monotype Run Chart. Trading defeats the purpose of the Run as it’s much easier to get a team of six Pokémon (especially in the later generations) that has all of its weaknesses covered. This is why a lot of games on the Chart (such as Generation One for Bug types) won’t have the full team even if they have the diversity needed (Scyther and Pinsir are version-exclusive Pokémon). Also, Pokémon catchable after the Elite Four were not included as, in my opinion, you’re at the end of the game. I imagine you win the challenge once you beat the Elite Four. True, some games have a lot of content after the Elite Four (such as the Johto games), but this is only after hours and hours of playing the games. Tyranitar in Gold/Silver is a great example as you can catch Larvitar at Mount Silver but that’s only after you acquired 16 badges (and by then, what’s the point?).

The Best and Worst Pokémon Games for a Monotype Run

By far, the best Pokémon games for a Monotype Run are Pokemon Sword and Shield, followed by Generation 6 and 7.  These later generations are fantastic as the amount of Pokemon you can catch in them is staggering.  SWSH wins out in the end though because of the Wild Area which is available after Route 2 and just hits you with a tsunami of Pokemon.  No joke, every type can be caught before the first gym.  No other game can claim that title.  If you have a Switch, go for SWSH and if not, there’s nothing wrong with either generation 6 or 7.

Sun, Moon, and USUM are really good.  First off, the level of diversity in Sun and Moon rivals ORAS while Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon have a team diversity almost on par with X and Y.  This means that many types are quite feasible for a Monotype Run although I would hesitate to choose Rock or Dragon types due to their availability of the end of the first island.  Ice types are actually doable in the game thanks to Crabrawler which is a welcome change of pace for them!  For more information about Sun and Moon and its sequels check out my in-depth article here.

The games to avoid would definitely be the Generation 1 games and that’s not surprising given the games’ initial lack of diversity. Pokémon Blue and Yellow only have one type that’s *6A or better (Normal) while Red has that and Electric. Ironically, the Electric type only sometimes acquires a *6A rating given their low diversity. If you want to do an Electric type Run in Yellow, catch a Pikachu and later catch a Magnemite, then Jolteon, Electabuzz, Voltorb, and Zapdos. I wouldn’t recommend this though given the mentioned Pokémon have a rather low movepool (look towards B2W2, USUM, and SWSH if you want a great Electric type Run).

The Best and Worst Types for a Monotype Run

Normal, Normal, Normal, Normal! The Normal type is the only type that has a 100% excellent rating. This is thanks to Normal type having only one weakness (Fighting) which it can easily cover! Oh, and guess what! The Normal/Flying type combination is the most common type combination in the games. Every generation (except Gen 8) has introduced one and you are more than likely to run into one in the game’s first route. Boom, Normal’s commonality combined with its low weaknesses and early route availability makes it the perfect type for a Monotype Run. I recommend going old school and do a Normal type Run in Generation 1 as you can catch a plethora of iconic Pokémon like Jigglypuff, Pidgey, Tauros, Kangaskhan, and Snorlax. You will have a fun time as they are strong and can learn a variety of moves.

If you don’t want Normal I would then recommend a Water type Run (although Ground, Bug, Fighting, Fairy, and Flying are also good). Again, their commonality and low amount of weaknesses make them a great type to do a Run. Water/Ground and Water/Flying Pokémon are surprisingly common and are introduced in almost every generation. These two potent combos cover Water type’s weaknesses and more than help you have a good time. Also, the Water type has the most superb ratings, a *6S or better, out of any type!  As Water type is one of the key starters in most of the games, it’s no wonder that Water teams are easy and fun to do.  If I were to recommend some games they would be Pokémon Sapphire, Emerald, and Alpha Sapphire. Pick Mudkip as your starter (Water/Ground), catch a Lotad (Water/Grass) in Route 102, and Wingull (Water/Flying) in Route 104 and you are set. From there, you are given a huge range of great Water Pokémon. Some off the top of my head are Gyarados, Crawdaunt, Sharpedo, Lanturn, Tentacruel, Marill, and Relicanth.

Ice and Dragon type are the worst types for a Monotype Run and have an average D+ and C- grade respectively. This is not surprising given they are usually available fairly late in the game and their diversity is rather lack luster. Surprisingly, Ice type neutralizes its weaknesses in GSC but is severely marred by their late game status. If you want to do an Ice type run go for SWSH thanks to the extreme early availability of Ice Pokemon in the Wild Area.  You can also do Pokemon SM and USUM thanks to Crabrawler’s early availability and the nice diversity of Ice types in those games.  The best Dragon game is definitely SWSH thanks to, again, the Wild Area which adds a lot of Dragon Pokemon in the Raids and you can neutralize your weaknesses thanks to Duraludon.

Trivia

-The worst Monotype Run is probably the Dark Type run in Pokemon LeafGreen and FireRed.  You CANNNOT catch ANY Dark Type Pokemon!   The game doesn’t even allow your Eevee to evolve into one which sucks.  This easily makes it the worst run in the entire series.

-In general, the sequel game in a series (Crystal, Emerald, Platinum, B2W2, and USUM) will have better runs due to an increase in diversity. The only exception to this is Pokémon Yellow.

-Remakes’ (FRLG and HGSS) ratings are generally similar to their original games as Pokémon availability are usually the same. The major exception to this is ORAS which introduced the National Dex before the Elite Four and not after.

-If you want to do a Water type Run in Pokémon Yellow, your first Pokémon will be a Magikarp from the Pokecenter salesman outside of Mount Moon. Have fun!

Final Thoughts?

So that’s the article! I originally published it in February 2016 and have continuously update and change it as new games are made.  The amount of time I have sunk into this project is ridiculous but hopefully worth it, I consider my chart version 2.0 to be one of my best works.  Additionally, there’s so much research and data in this that some mistakes may have fallen through the cracks; if you spot something that’s incorrect, let me know! Happy playing!

Link to other Monotype Run Articles (this will slowly update over time)

Games
Red/Blue/Yellow
Gold/Silver/Crystal
Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald
FireRed/LeafGreen
Diamond/Pearl/Platinum
HeartGold/SoulSilver
Black/White/Black2/White2
X/Y
OmegaRuby/AlphaSapphire
Sun/Moon
Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon
Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee
Sword/Shield

Types
Bug
Dark
Dragon
Electric
Fairy
Fighting
Fire
Flying
Ghost
Grass
Ground
Ice
Normal
Poison
Psychic
Rock
Steel
Water

 

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Rise of the Poison Type

The latest Pokémon game I played was ORAS and for the first time ever, I seriously trained a Dustox.  Let me just say right now that Dusty is quite a cutie.  I especially love feeding him in Pokémon Amie and bonding with him in general.  My team roster may see powerful members come and go, but Dusty stayed with me until the end.

But Dustox is by no means a strong Pokémon; in fact, this is the first time I decided to train one.  Dustox always struck me as weak, with a poor move distribution and a bad type match up.  What changed?  Why have I now bonded strongly with a Pokémon that before I didn’t take for granted?

Here’s something that many of my Pokémon friends know about me, Poison is my favorite Pokémon Type.  There are so many great and cool Pokémon that I have loved and trained throughout the years.  Just about every game I play in Pokémon has seen at least one Poison Type Pokémon on my team.

My Haunters are usually named Strawberry or Cherry.  Image from http://www.ign.com/wikis/pokemon-red-blue-yellow-version/Haunter

The Poison Type was probably at its peak in Generation 1 when 22% of all Pokémon were Poison Type.  Out of 15 types too!  That’s ridiculous!  You can find them everywhere from the Starter Bulbasaur, to the swarming Zubats in caves, to the swimming Tentacools in the oceans, all the way to the Safari Zone.  You could easily make a team of just Poison Pokémon in Red and Blue.

But the Poison Type has suffered setbacks since Generation 1 that has dropped it to the okay zone.  In Generation 2 it was no longer super effective against Bug (leaving just Grass) and the newly introduced Steel Type was immune to any poisoning.  And from Generation 2 on only a few Poison Type Pokémon have been introduced in each generation dropping the abundance to just 8% of the total Pokémon population (and now, even five generations later, over half of all Poison Pokémon were introduced in Generation 1).

I have had many Crobats, two that stand out to me are Calcite and Leofsig.  Image from http://maestropkmn.blogspot.com/2014/03/estrategia-pokemon-crobat.html

But I remained a steadfast and loyal Poison Type fan.  I just love these guys, they are so much fun and they can be quite versatile as well, especially if they have a second typing.  Gengar, Nidoking, Crobat, Tentacruel, Dragalge, Toxicroak, and of course Bulbasaur are all Pokémon that I loved and trained for more than a decade.  They are like the underdogs in the Pokémon world; they may get the short end of the stick at times but man do I love them.

Poison Type’s position as a sub-par type began to change in Generation V when it, along with many other types, were given new moves and hidden abilities.  Nidoking now had Sheer Force, many of the moths got Quiver Dance, and Toxic’s accuracy rose to 90%.

My Nidoking was called Aragorn. Image from http://pokemondb.net/pokedex/nidoking

But Poison Type finally got to shine in Generation VI.  Poison became a Type to be feared, respected, and used.  Not only did a lot of Poison Type Pokémon got a small boost in their stats, such as Dustox, but an even more important event happened that made Poison viable for both the games and the metagame.

When the Fairy Type was introduced I was beyond excited.  Not only was this a new type, but now the dynamics between type relationships would be shaken.  In the Fairy Type’s introduction video, Gamefreak showed that Fairy would be super effective against the powerful Dragon Type.  Already this was big news but what was not revealed was what was Fairy weak against? Would Poison be good against Fairy?

Thankfully, my prayers were answered and I rejoiced.  Poison was only one of two types super effective against Fairy Type and one of three that resists it.  Now, Poison Type was good against the now prevalent Fairy Type and many Pokémon benefited from that.

But more importantly, Poison cemented itself as a great defensive type.  Immune to poisoning with resistance to Fighting, Bug, Grass, Poison, and now Fairy, the Poison Type is now a good type to use when inflicting statuses on opposing Pokémon.  And with Toxic now 100% accuracy for Poison Types, they are able to excel at it.

My Bulbasaur was sometimes named Cretaceous. Image from http://pokemon.wikia.com/wiki/Bulbasaur

The Poison Type is a great example how things change for each passing generation.  Sometimes, a few Pokémon may become worse, but most of the time, every Pokémon becomes slightly better, slightly more usable, slightly more appealing.  New moves, new abilities, and maybe even a stat or type change makes this so.  So when the remakes come out, such as ORAS, Pokémon that you may have skipped the first time around now gravitate you towards them.  Dusty is one of them, he is amazing and I’m glad I caught him.  He’s is one more Pokémon I can add to my most favorite Pokémon Type ever.