Tag Archives: Pokemon SWSH

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.

Future of Monotype Run Articles

12/09/19 Update: Step 1 is done and I will be tackling the other steps in the near future.

For the past six months or so I’ve been writing new Single Type Run (STR) articles and updating old ones to ensure they are accurate and up-to-date.  They have been a constant source of views and uses for my website and I enjoy researching and writing these articles.  However, with Pokemon Sword and Shield just around the corner I wanted to give everyone an update on the future of these articles and where I go from here.  This list will be the general order of events as we head into Generation VIII of Pokemon.

1. The next STR article will focus on Pokemon Sword and Shield.  Finished!

This article will honestly take awhile to write as I predict there will be a lot of things to consider including Galar’s Wild Area and Dynamaxing.  There will also be tons of Pokemon in this region similar to the past two generations so that will slow things down especially when informational websites like Bulbapedia will gradually update.  I also want to play the game blind because I find that enjoyable!

Nevertheless, I will write it but I can’t guarantee it will be out by the end of this year.  Probably by January.  As a comparison, I published my Sun and Moon article at the end of December 2016 when the games came out November 16th, 2016.  But it’s on my list!   The STR on Sun and Moon is my most viewed article ever and I’m predicting my article Sword and Shield will be popular as well.

Single Type Run Chart

2. I will produce a new STR chart and it will include both Generation VII and VIII and a new “S” rating.

This will be the most important step on our list as the original STR article is by far one of my most popular articles.  Instead of writing and publishing a new article I’m going to update the old one as I have been doing.

More importantly, I’m going to incorporate Generation VII AND VIII into the chart!  Previously, I left Sun and Moon out as the lack of gyms made it impossible to apply it to the chart but I’ve been doing some thinking how we can change that.  At this point, I’m thinking our benchmarks will be the first battle against Captain Ilmia, then the Verdant Trial, then the first Kahuna Trial, then leaving the first island.  This works pretty close to previous games’ gym locations and can account for Sun and Moon’s notoriously long tutorial scenes.  There’s also a lot going on on the first Island which is really nice AND you can catch a Pokemon from every type on the first Island which is also incredible.

Thankfully, Sword and Shield is returning to the gym format so, barring any major surprises, we can use Sword and Shield for our chart with hopefully no problems.

The ratings are going to change as well.  After writing and researching so many articles my opinions have changed about what makes a good STR fantastic and by far the most important quality is early Pokemon availability.  So I’m going to change the letter grades to reflect that and introduce the new “S” grade (which will stand for Superior/Starter depending on your cup of tea).
“S” grade=Your first Pokemon is a starter that matches your type or can evolve into said type (like Chimchar for a Fighting Run)
“A” grade=First Pokemon caught is before the first gym/Ilmia battle
“B” grade=First Pokemon caught between first-second gym/between Ilmia-Verdant Trial
“C” grade=First Pokemon caught between second-third gym/between Verdant Trial-first Kahuna Trial
“D” grade=First Pokemon caught between third-fourth gym/between first Kahuna Trial-leaving the first Island
“F” grade=First Pokemon caught after the fourth gym

Gym battles are still important benchmarks for Pokemon games and although they can vary wildly in occurrence or story-placement they can still serve as a model how great or bad the games can be for STRs  Thankfully, my articles focused solely on specific games like Diamond/Pearl/Platinum can offer a richer detail of what to expect for your Run.

Not sure about the number grades yet.  I should change them to make them less confusing but not sure how to approach that.  One idea is make the number grade reflect the number of unique Pokemon that can be caught so Pokemon Moon would have a Steel rating of 10A for 10 unique Steel families but Pokemon Silver would have a 3B rating for just 3 families.  A little “*” symbol can indicate if all weaknesses are neutralized.  This might be way too complex though.  I like the “1A” ratings because it’s simple and gets to the point.  Any thoughts appreciated here.

 

3. Preexisting articles will be more user-friendly and have a consistent template.

This step will most likely be addressed multiple times in the coming months, especially while I’m waiting for Sword and Shield to come out.  With a lot of articles under my belt I noticed a lot of inconsistencies in article designs so I want to harmonize them.

There will also be collapsible text options to reduce clutter and make it easier to read what you want instead of constant scrolling scrolling scrolling.

Finally, long shot, but, it would be really cool to have a clickable link on the chart to learn more about a certain team and what it would look like.  Just cut right to the chase!  Not sure how to pull that one off yet but any ideas are appreciated.

 

4. Preexisting articles focused on just types will include Sword and Shield.

I’ve already written a few articles on types alone like Bug, Grass, and Ground but they’ll need to be updated once Sword and Shield comes out.  These articles don’t get a lot of love compared to their game-focused counterparts so this step is not urgent.

 

5. New Pokemon Type Articles will be written and published.

Finally, I will write new Pokemon Type articles once the previous tasks are done.  Water and Flying are two big types that I will likely focus on next.  I may not even write articles for every single type since some of them are still pretty abysmal like Ice, Rock, and Dragon.  But maybe Sword and Shield will be excellent games for them.  We’ll see!

 

Website Donation

As usual, thanks for reading, everyone!  If you have any suggestions or comments your feedback is appreciated. Any donation to the website is also valuable for website maintenance and with these projects. Thanks again!

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The Best Pokémon Games and Types for a Monotype Run

Minor Update 12/08/20: The article contains a link to Sword and Shield at the bottom.  This article will be updated soon to discuss Sword and Shield’s fantastic runs.
Updated 7/09/19: The article contains an updated version of the chart (now colored red).  Minor fixes and edits were made to improve the original chart.  As usual, if you see anything that should be changed, let me know.
The original article was also updated to include Sun, Moon, and USUM.  You can read about them here and a more in-depth article about them here.

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.

Single Type Run Chart

Click on the image to enlarge it.  Please note the following corrections which will update in the near future: GSC and HGSS Psychic rating updates to 1B as you can catch an Unown before the first gym.  RSE Electric rating updates to 2B as you can skip Brawly and catch Electric Pokemon on Route 110.  This chart will also update to say “Monotype” instead of “Single Type”

Before I analyzed a whole bunch of different pokedexes, I had to design a series of rules to make sure I kept my analysis consistent. As such, here are the rules for my version of the Monotype Run.

  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 406 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 one letter (A-F) and one number (1-4) grade for how beneficial a Monotype Run would be. Numbers indicate a game’s type diversity. For instance: 1=At least six unique catchable Pokémon, all weaknesses are neutralized/covered; 2=At least six unique catchable Pokémon; 3=Three-to-five unique catchable Pokémon; 4=Only one-to-two unique catchable Pokémon. Letters indicate how early you can catch a Pokémon: A=First Pokémon you can catch is before the first gym; B=Between the first-second gym; C=Between the second-third gym; D=Between the third-fifth gym; F=After the fifth gym. For example, if you were to do a Ground type run in Pokémon Red, you would have a 2A rating (i.e., you can catch at least six Ground type Pokémon and the first Pokémon you can catch is before the first gym (the Nidorans)).

As such, a 1A rating in Monotype Run is the best rating you could get when selecting your type and game. You can catch a Pokémon fairly early on and you can get a diversified team that has all of its weaknesses covered. If that doesn’t bother you and are fine with doubling up, then hey, that’s cool. Surprisingly, given all the strict guidelines, there are a whopping 145 combinations that have a 1A rating. That’s 36%! This is mainly thanks to Generation 6 which had a huge diversity of Pokémon in their respective games (65% of their possible type combinations had a 1A rating).

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 Pokémon X and Y followed by Pokémon AlphaSapphire, Pokémon OmegaRuby, and then Pokémon Platinum. Both Pokémon X and Y had a remarkable 1A ratio of 13-18. That’s unreal! And the other types that did not get a 1A were also pretty good as the worse rating was only a 2B (Dragon). And considering how this is one of the few games that an Ice type Run is actually feasible, I think this is a good bet to go for! Alpha Sapphire is the other game I recommend you play for a Monotype Run. It has a high amount of 1A ratings (11-18) and is the only game in the entire series to have a 1A rating for Ghost! This is thanks to Nincada in Route 116, a Sableye in Granite Cave, as well as the plethora of catchable Ghost Pokémon near the end of the game.

SM and USUM Update
The 7th Generation of Pokemon games are also very good.  Unfortunately, we can’t apply them to the rating system but we can still make some fairly good calls.  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 1A rating (Normal) while Red has that and Electric. Ironically, the Electric type only sometimes acquires a 1A 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 B2 and W2 if you want an 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% 1A 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 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, 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. 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 worse types for a Monotype Run. This is not surprising given they are usually available fairly late in the game and their diversity is rather lack luster. Surprisingly, Ice type received a 1 rating in Silver and Crystal but is severely marred by their late game status. If you want to do an Ice type run go for X and Y. Pick up the Sail Fossil, resurrect Amaura, and start catching some great Ice Pokémon.  You can also do Pokemon SM and USUM thanks to Crabrawler’s early availability and the nice diversity of Ice types in those games.  Unfortunately, Dragon type never gets a 1 rating although it has come close. As for which game, I’m honestly torn between XY and ORAS. On the one hand, you can get a Mega Sceptile/Altaria in ORAS although in X you can get a Mega Charizard X. Tough call.

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 third game in a series (Crystal, Emerald, Platinum, B2W2, and USUM) will have an increase in 1A ratings 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 generally the same. The major exception to this is ORAS which introduced the National Dex before the Elite Four and not after. ORAS has a 1A rating of 10.5/18 (58%) while Ruby and Sapphire averages out to 6.5/17 (38%).

-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!

-Despite being introduced in Generation Six, Fairy type has a 1A rating of 100% in all four Generation Six games. This is thanks to the variety of Pokémon from previous generations changing to the Fairy type like Mawile, Gardevoir, Marill, and Wigglytuff.

Final Thoughts?

So that’s the article! I worked on this for a couple of months, whenever I had time to kill or just wanted a break from my normal work load. I double checked my sources although I know I might have messed up a rating so 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
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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