Tag Archives: Pokemon USUM

Best Pokemon Games for a Psychic Type Run

Psychic type | Pokémon Wiki | Fandom

Ah, the Psychic Type.  For many people, it’s their favorite Pokemon Type and I don’t blame them!  There’s so many cool and weird Psychic Pokemon that are amazing and wonderful  And starting in Generation IV, we started getting Psychic Pokemon that not only had high Special stats but Physical stats as well!  As such, having a team full of Psychic Pokemon is surprisingly doable in many games.  So let’s take a look which Pokemon games are the best (and worst) for a Psychic-only team 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 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 Version 2.03

Best Pokemon Games

The Psychic Type has a surprising range of games you can choose for your Monotype Run.  I’d say it’s even doable as far back as Pokemon Gold/Silver so you have a collection of nice choices   XY is probably the best games with X edging Y due to version exclusive Starmie.  But that honestly won’t be a problem as you can train at least 21 Psychic Pokemon in either game!!  The diversity in this game is incredible AND you have Fennekin as your starter who is main reason why XY are the best games.

There are still plenty of other games to choose from for your Psychic Run that won’t be disappointing including ORAS, USUM, and SWSH.  I really like ORAS as you can catch Ralts very early in the game and evolve them into a powerful Gardevoir/Gallade.  However, it will be awhile before you can catch other Psychic Pokemon so keep that in mind but at least you can catch one of the Lati@s!  USUM gives you a little more selection at the beginning and you can train a Metagross which is very nice.  Finally, SWSH unloads a torrent of Pokemon on you to the point that you can have a full team with all your weaknesses neutralized right before the first gym!

Worst Pokemon Games

I would avoid the Kanto and Unova games with the worst one being Yellow.  What they all have in common is a later-than-usual appearance of Psychic Pokemon and a team exposed to common weaknesses.  Despite B2W2’s abundance of Pokemon, I would avoid them as Eevee is your first Pokemon and that’s well after the 2nd gym.  Yellow is especially dismal because your first Pokemon appears after the 2nd gym and you barely have a full team of six Pokemon.

Delphox (Pokémon) - Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon ...

List of Pokemon Psychic Teams

Red, Blue, Yellow, and FireRed, LeafGreen
Ideal Team: Hypno, Mr. Mime, Exeggutor, Jynx (all versions except Yellow), Starmie (all versions except FireRed), Slowbro (all versions except FireRed)
Optional: Kadabra
First available Pokémon: Abra via Route 24 after Mount Moon for all versions except Pokemon Yellow, just before the second gym.  In Pokemon Yellow the first Pokemon would be Drowzee on Route 11 after the second gym.
Covers weaknesses? No, Bug and Ghost are not neutralized.

Gold, Silver, Crystal, and HeartGold, SoulSilver
Ideal Team: Espeon, Exeggutor, Girafarig, Xatu, Jynx, Starmie/Slowbro
Optional: Lugia (S, SS), Kadabra, Hypno, Wobbufett, Mr. Mime (HGSS via Safari), Unown
First Pokémon: Unown at the Ruins of Alph before the first gym; after Unown you can get a Slowpoke at the Slowpoke well before the second gym.
Via Pokewalker Abra (Town Outskirts at 5000+ steps), Wobbufett (Noisy Forest at 4000+ steps), Slowpoke (Beautiful Beach at 1000+ steps), Smoochum (Dim Cave at 5000+ steps), and Staryu (Beautiful Beach at 5000+ steps) are available.
Covers Weaknesses? No, Dark is not neutralized

Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, and OmegaRuby, AlphaSapphire}
Ideal Team: Gardevoir, Medicham (R,S,ORAS)/Gallade (ORAS), Girafarig, Xatu, Claydol, Starmie/Slowbro (ORAS)
Optional: 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

Diamond, Pearl, Platinum
Ideal Team: Mr. Mime/Gardevoir (Platinum), Bronzong, Medicham/Gallade (Platinum), Kadabra, Girafarig, Espeon (Platinum)
Optional: Chimecho
First Pokémon: Abra via Route 203 before the first gym
Covers Weaknesses? Yes

Black/White and Black2/White2
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

X and Y
Ideal Team: Delphox, Gardevoir, Gallade, Malamar, Slowbro, Sigilyph
Optional: 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

Sun, Moon, and UltraSun, UltraMoon
SM Ideal Team: Oranguru (Moon)/Gothitelle (scan), Starmie, Espeon, Metagross, Raichu, Slowbro
Optional: Hypno, Kadabra, Bruxish, Oricorio, Reuniclus (scan)
First Pokémon: Pichu via Route 1
Cover weaknesses? No, Dark is not neutralized in Sun and Moon.

USUM Ideal Team: Oranguru (UM)/Malamar, Slowbro/Starmie, Gallade (scan), Metagross, Gardevoir (scan), Delphox (scan)
Optional: Hypno, Kadabra, Bruxish, Oricorio, Xatu, Claydol (UM), Beheeyem, Mr. Mime, Espeon, Raichu, Slowking (S.O.S. by Slowpoke in Kala’e Bay), Jynx
First Pokémon: Pichu via Route 1
Cover weaknesses? Yes, all weaknesses are neutralized.

Sword and Shield
Ideal Team: Orbeetle, Sigilyph, Bronzong, Gardevoir, Gallade, Malamar
Optional: 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!

MVP (Most Valuable Pokemon)

Gardevoir Pokédex: stats, moves, evolution & locations | Pokémon ...Gallade Pokédex: stats, moves, evolution & locations | Pokémon ...

Gardevoir/Gallade

Starting in Generation 3 the Gardevoir line has been incredibly popular, both in real life and in games, and will be incredibly useful for your team.  They also keep getting better and better with Generation 4 introducing Gallade and Generation 6 adding the Fairy type to Gardevoir and giving both Mega forms.  It also helps when you can find Ralts very early in the game, a lot of times before the first gym.

Gallade and Gardevoir are the must haves for your team.  They fill in different roles and counter different Pokemon you may encounter.  Gardevoir has high Special Attack, can learn a variety of Special moves, and the Fairy type neutralizes Bug and Dark attacks.  Meanwhile, Gallade has a high Physical Attack, can learn a lot of Physical moves, and can also easily counter Bug and Dark foes.  Gallade is especially important for that high Physical Attack, something that a lot of Psychic Pokemon don’t excel at.

Honestly, the biggest disadvantage to them is trying to find a Dawn Stone for your Kirlia.  They can be a pain in the butt to acquire.  Even in ORAS, you don’t get one until right before the Elite Four which stinks.  So if you’re having trouble getting that Gallade, especially if your playing Generation 3, then you might want to consider Medicham instead.

Available in: RSE (just Gardevoir), Platinum, XY, ORAS, USUM, SWSH

Metagross Pokédex: stats, moves, evolution & locations | Pokémon ...Bronzong Pokédex: stats, moves, evolution & locations | Pokémon ...

Metagross/Bronzong

Our Steel bois are top tier for team members and although they lost their nifty Dark and Ghost resistances in Generation 6, they’ll still provide a great support.  Both of these Pokemon also fill different roles for your team so if you want offense then go with Metagross but if you want defense then stick with Bronzong.  Bronzong’s abilities give it a further immunity, which is nice, and so if you want outstall a team or setup some great moves then hell yeah, train that bell!  Meanwhile, Metagross is the strongest non-Legendary, non-Mega Psychic Pokemon so you definitely want him on.  Metagross also carries a ton of Physical moves like the awesome Meteor Mash and the fantastic Earthquake.  Metagross can definitely fill in missing spots or holes that you would be lacking.

I would say their biggest downside is their exposed Ghost and Dark weaknesses.  It’s too bad this were to happen to them so if you’re pining for those good ol’ days I’d suggest Pokemon Platinum as Bronzong reeeeeeally shines as that defense.  And like I said, Bronzong is NOT an offense Pokemon so don’t try to make a shield into a hammer.

Available in: DPP (Bronzong), B2W2 (Metagross), ORAS (Bronzong), SM and USUM (Metagross), SWSH (Bronzong),

Xatu Pokédex: stats, moves, evolution & locations | Pokémon DatabaseSigilyph Pokédex: stats, moves, evolution & locations | Pokémon ...

Flying/Psychic Pokemon

Xatu was one of the first Psychic Pokemon introduced to counter a Psychic weakness, in this case Bug type.  From there, Xatu, and later Sigilyph and Swoobat, offer common and decent support for your Psychic team.  Of course, Flying moves are super effective against Bugs but you could also use them against foes like Scrafty or Medicham who may resist Psychic attacks.  Sigilyph also has some weird support moves that can boost its stats and lay down some crazy moves on your opponents.  Swoobat can be found relatively early in Black/White and even though I love this bat’s design…their stats are pretty low so you may want to switch to Sigilyph once you catch one.

I will admit they are not the strongest Pokemon out there but I would argue their unique typing and movesets offsets their weaknesses, barely any of the Psychic Pokemon can learn a strong Flying move so they can fill that hole.  The flyers are also quite common so if you wanted an easy anti-Bug member then they are more than likely there to support you.

Available in: GSC and HGSS (Xatu), RSE (Xatu), BW and B2W2 (Swoobat and Sigilyph), XY (Sigilyph), SM (Oricorio), USUM (Oricorio and Xatu), SWSH (Xatu, Sigilyph, and Swoobat)

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

Normal/Psychic Pokemon

Bug counters won’t be too difficult for you to find (and heck, neither will Dark types) but you’re going to have a rough time trying to find a Ghost encounter; there’s just not that many Psychic Pokemon out there that can do it.  Thankfully, there are three Pokemon  who are completely immune to them!  Girafarig, Oranguru, and Indeedee’s Psychic/Normal typing gives them a perfect counter to Ghost foes.  Additionally, Girafarig can naturally learn Crunch, Oranguru can be taught Shadow Ball, and Indeedee can be taught Shadow Ball and Dazzling Gleam.  Sure, they may not be the strongest Psychics on your team but if you need a Ghost counter then they’re your best bet!

Available in: GSC and HGSS (Girafarig), RSE and ORAS (Girafarig), Moon and UM (Oranguru), Sword (Indeedee), Shield (Indeedee and Oranguru)

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

Slowbro/Starmie

I add these Pokemon here because of their commonality AND their fantastic stats combined with a stellar move diversity.  Slowbro can act as a tank and can learn Flamethrower; Starmie can be taught Thunderbolt and is incredibly fast.  And of course, both of these Pokemon have been around since Generation 1 so there’s a high chance you’ll run into either of them.  Slowpoke can even be caught early in Johto before the 2nd gym which is sweet.  You can also get a Mega-Slowbro in ORAS so don’t let that slip you bye!

Available in: RBY and LG (both), GSC and HGSS (both), RSE (Starmie), B2W2 (Starmie), X (both), Y (Slowbro), ORAS (both), SM (Starmie), USUM (both)

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

Malamar

Rounding out our crew is Malamar the funky calamari Pokemon!  I still find it funny that our first Psychic/Dark Pokemon is an upside down squid, lol.  But Malamar is honestly pretty good!  The Dark typing is the main reason why it’s here but it works great as a soft counter to other Dark Pokemon and a hard counter to Ghost types.  I honestly recommend you have a Malamar with a Contrary Ability cause it can naturally learn Superpower which instead of lowering it will raise Malamar’s Attack and Defense stat so use it!  You can also catch an Inkay at the beginning of USUM which is super nice and immediately eliminates two of your three weaknesses.  Speaking of which, if you see a Bug Pokemon then get the heck out of there!

Available in: XY, USUM, SWSH

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.

Monotype Chart Version 2.03

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 (all versions except FireRed), Poliwrath, Lapras, Tentacruel, Vaporeon
Optional: Starmie (all versions except FireRed), Gyrados, Omastar/Kabutops, Cloyster (all versions except LeafGreen), Dewgong, Golduck (all versions except LeafGreen), Kingler, Seadra, Seaking
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.

Best Pokemon Games for a Steel Type Run

I think out of all the Pokemon types out there the Steel type looks the most intriguing for a Monotype Run.  A Monotype Run is a run where you train only one Pokemon type throughout the game, similar to being a gym leader.  And with the main issue being that you have to watch out for your weaknesses…a Steel type run looks pretty stellar!  After all, there are a lot of Steel Pokemon with dual typings and quite a few of them neutralize their weaknesses!  Steel has also seen a boom in early availability which makes them prime and ready for a Monotype Run.  So let’s take a look which Pokemon games you should play, and which you should avoid, and which Pokemon you should have on your team!

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 Version 2.03

Best Games

Fans of the DS, 3DS, and Switch can breathe a sigh of relief as you are more than likely to find a team that can fit you.  Platinum, Sun/Moon, and B2/W2 are great but XY, Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon and Sword/Shield are stellar.  What these latter games have in common is a high abundance of Steel Pokemon, early availability, and notable stars that will carry you to victory.

It’s hard to pick which one of these is my favorite in all honesty.  Even Platinum and B2W2 I like a lot despite the less-than-common Steel Pokemon.  USUM has Empoleon and Metagross which are quite rare, SWSH gives you Rookidee from Route 1 which neutralizes two of your weaknesses (and of course the Wild Area), and XY gives you a Riolu before your first gym and then later a Lucarioite which is fantastic!  However, if you were to twist my arm, I would pick XY because of that sweet Riolu but you also get the likes of Honedge early on (nice), and later pick up Pokemon like Steelix, Aggron (X), Skarmory, Durant, Klefki, and Ferrothorn.  It’s such a nice, diverse team and it’s a shame that neither Bronzong or Metagross are in those games because it would be perfect.

I tell you, when those Sinnoh remakes do come out it’s going to be great for you Steel fans.  So many great Steel Pokemon with Piplup as your starter, I think it’s going to be a wonderful ride.  I haven’t done a Steel run yet, but if I do it will probably be when the remakes come out.

Worst Games

Yeah…not a shocker that Kanto games just straight up suck.  Hope you enjoy that Magneton!  It’s available halfway through the game!  Johto is also not the best as Scizor and Steelix is acquired by trading so you’re limited to just three Pokemon and even then Skarmory is found in just Silver, Crystal, and SS.  Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald are incrementally better as you can neutralize your weaknesses but it’s not a whole team and your first Pokemon is after the first gym.

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Pokemon Teams for Each Game

Red/Blue/Yellow and FireRed/LeafGreen
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.

Gold/Silver/Crystal and HeartGold/SoulSilver
Ideal Team: Magneton, Forretress, Skarmory (S, C, SS)
First Pokémon: Pineco via headbutting trees after the second gym or Magnemite in Suburban Area at 1000+ steps via Pokewalker.
Covers Weaknesses? No, Fire is not neutralized

Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald and OmegaRuby/AlphaSapphire
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

Diamond/Pearl/Platinum
Ideal Team: Empoleon, Bastiodon (Pearl and Platinum)/Probopass (Platinum [need an ID that ends with an even number]), Bronzong, Lucario, Steelix, Magnezone (Platinum)
Optional Pokémon: Dialga (Diamond), Wormadam
First Pokémon: Piplup via starter
Covers Weaknesses? Yes, provided you get a Bronzong that has the Levitate Ability.

Black/White and Black2/White2
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

X/Y
Ideal Team: Lucario, Probopass/Aggron (X), Aegislash, Mawile, Ferrothorn, Durant
Optional Pokémon: Wormadam, Klefki, Bisharp, Magnezone, Skarmory, Steelix
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, Aegislash, and Skarmory.

Sun/Moon and Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon
SM Ideal Team: Metagross, Skarmory, Dugtrio, Bastiodon (Moon)/Probopass, Aegislash (scan), Klefki
Optional Pokémon: Sandslash (Moon), Togedemaru, Magnezone
First Pokémon: Magnemite near the Trainer School, before the first trial
Cover weaknesses? Yes

USUM Ideal Team: Metagross, Skarmory, Empoleon (scan), Dugtrio, Bastiodon (UM)/Probopass, Aegislash (scan)
Optional Pokémon: Sandslash (UM), Togedemaru, Klefki/Mawile, Forretress, Bisharp, Magnezone
First Pokémon: Magnemite near the Trainer School, before the first trial
Cover weaknesses? Yes

Sword/Shield
Ideal Team: Corviknight, Lucario, Bronzong, Ferrothorn, Aegislash, Duraludon
Optional Pokémon: Perrserker, Steelix, Klinklang, Stunfisk, Bisharp, Mawile (Sword), Excadrill, Copperajah, Durant, Togedemaru, Escavalier (Sword Raid)
First Pokémon: Rookidee by overworld (30%) via Route 1
Weaknesses Covered? Yes

MVP (Most Valuable Pokemon)

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Metagross and Bronzong

Honestly, I was going back and forth among three different Pokemon who was the top MVP but I landed on our Psychic bois for these principal reasons; their commonality in late games, the handy resistance to Fighting moves and, in particular, Metagross’ stellar stats and Bronzong’s defense.  Starting with Metagross, this is the strongest non-Mega, non-Legendary Steel Pokemon and it has an amazing moveset.  The stellar Attack and the good Special Attack give Metagross the potential to dish out such attacks as Earthquake, Meteor Mash, Ice Punch, Thunder Punch, Shadow Ball, and Hammer Arm.  Pretty sweet.

Bronzong, meanwhile, really leans into its defensive Steel typing with impressive Defense and Special Defense stats but the real reason why you want this bell is its abilities.  Levitate is pretty incredible making it completely immune to Ground moves which is fantastic.  And Heatproof halves Fire damage making it a potential switcher when you’re facing the likes of say a Magmar.  It doesn’t have anything too stellar for attacking but Psychic, Rock Slide, and Grass Knot would be good against the Ground, Fire, and Fighting types.  And it can do a lot of status and defense buffs which is great.

Available in: DPP (Bronzong), B2W2 (Metagross), ORAS (Bronzong), SM and USUM (Metagross), SWSH (Bronzong)

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Lucario

Lucario was recently voted as the second most popular Pokemon, behind my frog Greninja, in a 2020 Official Pokemon poll.  And I don’t find this surprising!  Lucario is wonderful and is definitely the cool and stoic mascot of Generation 4.  In our case, Lucario is a fantastic addition for your team as it has so many great things going for it.  The biggest thing?  It’s movepool.  Just scroll through its list of TMs, TRs, Move Tutors, and Level Ups, and its apparent Lucario can learn a lot.  Some simple highlights include Blaze Kick, Dragon Pulse, and Aura Sphere.  Fantastic.

Also, surprisingly, Lucario can be caught early in quite a few games, sometimes before the first gym like XY and B2/W2.  Lucario is the prime reason why these games are great in the first place.  You have on your team a versatile Pokemon with great stats.  Only flaw?  No crucial resistances.  You’re exposed to all three weaknesses.  Whoops.  Welp, at least you can get a Mega Lucario before the Championship in XY.

Available in: DPP, B2W2, XY, SWSH

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Aggron (along with Bastiodon and Probopass)

Finding a resistance and even immunities to Fighting and Ground moves are easy for your Steel team, for Fire moves…not so much.  Empoleon is a rare starter, Heatran is a legendary, and Duraludon was just introduced.  So that leaves our Rock team members.  Although they’re 4x weak to Fighting AND Ground attacks, the resistance to Fire is so helpful especially since Fire Pokemon are weak to Rock attacks.  You need some sort of counter to them and these guys can do it.

All three of them really embody their Steel/Rock combo and have super high Defense stats.  Additionally, Bastiodon and Probopass have a really high Special Defense stat while Aggron’s is pretty small.  So if you need a wall, it’s these guys.  Unfortunately, Bastiodon and Probopass are really bad attackers so stick to their defense moves if you use them.  Of the three, Aggron, is the strongest and has a really good Attack stat so I suggest him.  Aggron can learn the elemental punches, Dragon Claw, and Aqua Tail so you have a nice variety of moves against your opponents.  Aggron has the ability Rock Head which is supeeeeeer niiiiiiiiice for Head Smash which you can easily get in ORAS.  Also…GET THAT MEGA AGGRON IN ORAS!  Super strong and its Filter Ability halves super effective attacks which is EXCELLENT.

Available in: RSE and ORAS (Aggron), Pearl (Bastiodon), Platinum (Probopass and Bastiodon), B2W2 (Probopass), X (Aggron and Probopass), Y (Probopass), Moon and UM (Bastiodon and Probopass), Sun and US (Probopass)

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Aegislash

I kid you not, as of Sword and Shield, Aegislash has had a near perfect appearance record since its XY debut.  It also has a great habit of appearing relatively early in the respective games being available after the first gym in XY, on the second island via scanning in SM and USUM games, and Hammerlocke Hills in SWSH.  Okay, so why Aegislash?

A startlingly high Attack and Special Attack (150!) makes even substandard moves seem deadly in Aegislash’s sword.  Heck, Aegislash’s move distribution is alright but it doesn’t really matter when you’re packing stats like those right?  Honestly, teach it the likes of Sacred Sword, Shadow Sneak, Iron Head, and Shadow Claw and you’re good!  Biggest disadvantage is obviously that bulk as it’s offense mode has really low defense and HP and it’s quite slow.  So if you’re worried about survival you can keep it’s signature King Shield ability which is quite helpful.  Still though, that immunity to Fighting is freaking sweet.

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

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Empoleon

I debated whether to put Empoleon on here or not but I relented because despite its rarity, this starter has a lot of things going for it and is the reason why Platinum is good and USUM is stellar for a Steel run.  First, type combo.  Empoleon is, as of Gen VIII, the only Pokemon that is Water/Steel which is fantastic for your Fire foes but more importantly it gives you a crucial STAB against Ground and Fire Pokemon.  And second, amazing stats,  Empoleon has one of the higher Special Attacks among Steel Pokemon so this means you can use the killer combo of Surf and Ice Beam no problem.  And of course, if you’re playing DPP, or the eventual Sinnoh remakes, you will start off with Piplup as you’re starter which is such a blessing.

Available in: DPP (Starter), USUM (Island Scan)

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Skarmory and Corviknight

These two birds are important as they give you an immunity to Ground attacks and a resistance to Fighting attacks.  On the whole, you’re more likely to run into Skarmory, who’s surprisingly common, compared to the very recent Corviknight.  Unfortunately, that’s about the extent of their usefulness.  Their movepool selection is rather small so their Flying moves are appreciated but they won’t do much against your Ground opponents except stalling and whittling them down.  Skarmory also suffers from lack of physical Flying moves and it can only learn strong Special Flying moves by leveling up which it fails to use due to its low Special Attack.  Like, come on, Gamefreak, at least give Skarmory Drill Peck or something…TMs and Move Tutors are nice but doesn’t do much for Skarmory.

Honestly, Skarmory is a fantastic example of just because it blocks your weaknesses doesn’t mean it’s useful.   Skarmory may be great for a Flying Run but given the option I would go for Metagross/Aegislash and Ferrothorn/Durant before picking it up.

Available in: Skarmory in Silver, Crystal, RSE, SoulSilver, B2W2, ORAS, XY, SM, USUM.  Corviknight in SWSH

Best Pokemon Games for a Ghost Type Run

Update 12/30/2019: The article is now updated to include Pokemon Sword and Shield

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.

Monotype Chart Version 2.03

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).  Pokemon Sword and Shield are really fantastic and you catch Dragapult who’s the strongest non-Legendary Ghost Pokemon but both are exposed to Ghost weaknesses (Sableye is catchable after the Championship in Shield).  Still though, you can train a Golett very early and really, who wouldn’t?

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

Pokemon Sword and Shield
Ideal Team: Golurk, Dragapult, Dusknoir, 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? Unfortunately no as they are exposed to Ghost weaknesses (Sableye is catchable after the Championship in Shield).

MVP (Most Valuable Pokemon)

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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 one of the strongest non-Legendary, non-Mega Ghost Pokemon.  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), SWSH

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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), SWSH

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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, like my beloved Dhelmise, 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, US, or SWSH).  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, SWSH

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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 21 games as of Sword and Shield (the next most common line, Chandelure, in catchable in 12 games).  A few of these games are pretty early too!  In the Johto and Galar 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 SM, USUM, and SWSH!  In the Sun and Moon games 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.  SWSH is a bit easier as you can find Gengars in the Wild Area.  All in all, 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, SWSH

Mimikyu artwork by Ken Sugimori

Mimikyu

Mimikyu has become one of the big stars of the Sun and Moon games.  Besides the starters, it seems like Mimikyu is the most frequent Gen VII Pokemon seen in toys, art, and promotional materials.  Thankfully, its inclusion in SWSH continues its popularity and makes it a worthy addition to your team.

Mimikyu’s very fun and very unique Ghost/Fairy combo gives your team a much needed resistance to Dark which otherwise is quite hard to pull off.  It even beats Sableye as it has the power and moves to take out Dark Pokemon.  It’s decent Physical Attack gives it access to moves that other Ghost Pokemon struggle to use like X-Scissor, Play Rough, Drain Punch, and Shadow Sneak (all of which can fight off your enemies).  It also has pretty good bulk which ties nicely to its signature ability, Disguise.  Biggest downside is that very low Special Attack but you got other Ghosts that can handle that easily so no need to worry.  Don’t forget to pick up Mimikium Z in USUM!

Available in: SM, USUM, SWSH

Best Pokemon Games for a Dark Type Run

Update 1/14/2020: This article now contains Pokemon Sword and Shield Teams

Oh the Dark type.  I place it in that special category of types like Psychic, Steel, and Ghost of types you don’t see too often but are pretty cool.  For a type as…prestigious…as Dark, you may be surprise to learn that it’s actually a good type for a Monotype (or Single Type) Run.  Earlier generations not as much but the later games offer some premium teams that you can train and have fun with (what’s funny is that Dark type has the worst type run in the entire series as well as one of the best!).  Dark Pokemon are also just plain fun!  Crawdaunt, Krookodile, Hydreigon, and Scrafty are just a few of the amazing Pokemon you can train.  The games also cover your weaknesses and they offer a very diverse set of moves that make other types envious.  What are those games?  Let’s dive in and find out!

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.

Monotype Chart Version 2.03

The Worst Games

In general, the first four generations will not offer very many, if at all, satisfying Dark-type runs.  Most of these earlier generations see Dark Pokemon in few numbers or appearing late in the games.  Of course, Kanto games are the worst example of this as there are no Dark Pokemon catchable in these regions.  This makes a Dark type run in FireRed and LeafGreen the worst Monotype Run in the entire franchise.  Dang!

It’s not all gloom and doom.  Emerald and Sapphire are actually quite good as they offer a diverse team that covers your weaknesses and you can have two Pokemon that evolve into a dark type by the time you hit your first gym (Poochyena and Nuzleaf) and your neutralizer Sableye before your second gym.  But why play Emerald or Sapphire when you have their remakes…

The Best Games

Starting from Pokemon Black to SWSH you get a series of games that are very high quality for a Dark playthrough (with the exception of Pokemon White due to the absence of Mandibuzz which your mileage may vary for that one).  These games hit all the good marks; an early available Pokemon, a full and diverse team, all the weaknesses are covered, and there’s a nice distribution throughout the routes.  The best games by far are Pokemon USUM followed by XY but the other Generation V and on games are really good.

XY and USUM’s diversity is on a whole another level, like God-tier level.  You can catch about 12 different type combinations from each game which is ridiculous.  The amount of Dark Pokemon you can train is insane in X (19), Y (20), US (17), and UM (18).  The Pokemon are also spread nicely throughout the games (and not all bunched up at the end like ORAS).  Finally, you get a starter that evolves into a Dark type which equates these games to a near-perfect Monotype Run.

The reason why I edge USUM over XY is the weakness-neutralization that’s done near the start of the game.  First, your starter, Litten, will be a Fire/Dark type which takes care of Bug and Fairy weaknesses (and SE against Bug types).  Quickly following that you can catch an Inkay near Professor Kukui’s lab which neutralizes the Fighting weakness (Psychic/Dark and it’s SE against Fighting).  These weaknesses are further taken care one after the other with an Alolan Grimer at the Trainer School (Poison/Dark which neutralizes ALL the weaknesses and is SE against Fairies), Murkrow in the Hau’oli Cemetery (Flying/Dark neutralizes Fighting and Bug and SE against the two), and a Sableye at Ten Carat Hill (Ghost/Dark which is immune to Fighting and neutralizes Bug).  That’s FIVE Pokemon on just the first island alone!  And that’s not counting Alolan Raticate, Alolan Persian, and the very rare Zoroark!  You could have a full team by the time you get off the island and take it to the Elite Four with no problem!  Did I say near-perfect run?  Forget that!  A Dark type run in USUM is as perfect of a run as you can get in the entire Pokemon Series.  Don’t pass it up!  I played with this one and it was great!

Dark Teams in Pokemon Games

Pokemon GSC and HGSS
Ideal Team: Murkrow, Umbreon, Tyranitar (HGSS via Safari)
First Pokémon: Eevee given by Bill in Goldenrod after the third gym or Murkrow via Pokewalker.
Covers Weaknesses? Yes, thanks to Murkrow and Fairy not being introduced yet

Pokemon Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, ORAS
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

Pokemon Diamond, Pearl, Platinum
Ideal Team:  Drapion, Weavile
Optional Pokémon: Absol (Platinum), Honchkrow (Diamond), Stuntank (Diamond), Houndoom (Platinum), Umbreon (Platinum)
First Pokémon: Murkrow can be caught at Eterna Forest after the first gym in Diamond. In Pearl, you can catch a Skorupi in the Great Marsh well after the third gym. In Platinum, you can acquire an Eevee in Hearthome City just before the third gym.
Covers Weaknesses? Yes

Pokemon Black, White, and B2W2
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)/Weavile, Krookodile, Scrafty, Drapion, Bisharp
Optional: Liepard, Umbreon, Absol, Zoroark
First Pokémon: Purrloin via Route 19 before the first gym
Cover weaknesses? Yes, thanks to Drapion

Pokemon XY
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
Covers Weaknesses? Yes

Pokemon SM and USUM
SM Ideal Team:
 Incineroar, Honchkrow, Muk, Pangoro, Hydregion (scan), Sabeleye
Optional: Krookodile, Absol, Weavile, Raticate, Sharpedo, Mandibuzz (Moon), Umbreon, Persian
First Pokémon: Litten via Starter
Covers Weaknesses? Yes

USUM Ideal Team: Incineroar, Malamar, Bisharp, Honchkrow, Muk, Pangoro
Optional: Krookodile, Absol, Weavile, Raticate, Sharpedo/Crawdaunt/Greninja (scan), Tyranitar, Scrafty, Sabeleye, Mandibuzz (UM), Umbreon, Houndoom (US), Persian
First Pokémon: Litten via Starter
Covers Weaknesses? Yes

Pokemon Sword and Shield
Ideal Team: Drapion, Grimmsnarl, Malamar, Bisharp, Scrafty (Sword)/Pangoro, Mandibuzz (Shield)/Crawdaunt
Optional Pokémon: Thievul, Liepard, Shiftry (Sword), Obstagoon, Skuntank, Umbreon, Weavile, 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

MVP (Most Valuable Pokemon)

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Poison/Dark Pokemon

Monotype runs can be difficult.  So finding that one Pokemon that can neutralize all your weaknesses is like hitting the jackpot.  The Dark type has three of them.

One of the best type combos in the games, Poison/Dark is a fantastic combination for Dark Pokemon as Poison neutralizes ALL its weaknesses and you get a STAB super-effective move against the Fairies.  Having one of these Pokemon on your team guarantees you a wall against a tricky opponent.  But the other reason why this is #1 on our list is their prevalence.  Drapion, Skuntank, and Alolan Muk are catchable in every game starting from Pokemon Diamond and Pearl onwards with the exception being Pokemon Black and White.  You can find these guys in all the other games before the Elite Four.  These three can also fight your enemies well.  For instance, Alolan Muk can learn Rock Slide and Flamethrower, Drapion can learn Fire Fang, Aerial Ace, Iron Tail, and Rock Slide, and Skuntank can learn Iron Tail and Flamethrower.

Disadvantages?  Hm, well, they sometimes show up late in the games.  Um, Muk and Drapion’s move diversity is good…but Skuntank’s is okay.  They also have a…Ground weakness…?  But it’s just the one so just…not fight against a Steelix?  These Pokemon are also strong (Muk and Drapion have 500 Total Base Stats while Skuntank has 479) but nothing to write home about.  Really, the only major qualm I have is they don’t show up in earlier games, but those games aren’t even that good for a Dark type run to begin with so that’s not the worst thing ever.

Yeah, these guys are sweet.

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

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Umbreon

After the Poison/Dark Pokemon, all other MVPs fight for second place.  They will give you support, diversity, and availability where the previous Pokemon fail.

One of those is Umbreon.  Umbreon is a widely popular Pokemon and the recent, Reddit survey of favorite Pokemon had placed it 6th place (607 people out of 52,725 voted for it) making it the most popular Eevee family member.  But what makes Umbreon special is not its popularity but its availability and stats.  First, Eevee is a very common Pokemon in the games.  And depending on the version, you can catch one in every region (except for the Kanto remakes which is pbbbbbtttt).  Umbreon also has some impressive stats and its highest of which are on its defenses and third highest in its HP.  Umbreon is thus the ideal tank to have if you’re worried about being one-shot by an opponent.

As such, Umbreon is not one for attacking, more for defense and status-inflicting moves.  Even its moveset reflects this as it barely knows any moves that are not Dark type.  Still, Umbreon does its job very well and will be a lovely partner for you through thick and thin.

Available in: GSC, Platinum, HGSS, B2W2, XY, ORAS, SM, USUM, SWSH

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Honchkrow and Mandibuzz

When I’m doing a Dark type run, these are the guys I make a beeline towards as quick as I can.  Flying pairs nicely for Dark type as it neutralizes its Bug and Fighting weakness and provides Super Effective STAB moves to boot.  In fact, if you’re playing any game before Generation 6, having one of these guys on your team will guarantee you weakness coverage since Fairy wasn’t introduced yet.  Because of which, Mandibuzz’s absence in Pokemon White demotes a Dark type run from fantastic to decent.

Since Murkrow was introduced in Generation 2, we get to see these guys pop up all over the place so you’re likely to run into them in later generations.  Murkrow’s evolution, Honchkrow, arrives in Generation 4 providing a strong boost to this family.  In fact, both of these bad birds total base stats are over 500 which is really nice.  Mandibuzz is on the tanky side so if you want an attacker go for Honchkrow.  Honchkrow can even learn Steel Wing so if you want to give Fairies the middle finger you can surprise them with this move.

Your big fault here is the move diversity.  Flying Pokemon in general have poor movepools so Mandibuzz and Honchkrow suffer.  Embarrassingly, Honchkrow’s only strong Flying move by TM or Level Up is Fly and that’s it.  Honchkrow can still learn Psychic and Shadowball though so it’s not all bad news (and Nasty Plot is nice).  However, if you have a move tutor your movepool expands greatly so look out for them in B2W2, USUM, and SWSH.

Available in: GSC (Murkrow), Diamond (Honchkrow), HGSS (Honchkrow), Black and Black 2 (Mandibuzz), XY (Honchkrow), ORAS (Honchkrow and Mandibuzz), SM and USUM (Honchkrow in all and Mandibuzz in Moon and UM), Shield (Mandibuzz)

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Pangoro and Scrafty

Both Scrafty and Pangoro are incredible Pokemon for their own reasons but the main reason why you want to carry them is not their Bug resistance but their move diversity.  Elemental punches, Outrage, Earthquake, X-Scissor, and of course, Fighting moves give you nice coverage.  Pangoro can also learn Bullet Punch by level up which is nice to surprise Fairies.  These guys are stroooong and with their nice abilities you can be an effective attacker (Pangoro) or a tank (Scrafty).  However, watch out for those Fairy weaknesses, they can mess you up!

Available in: BW and B2W2 (Scrafty), XY (Pangoro and Scrafty), ORAS (Scrafty), SM (Pangoro), and USUM (Pangoro and Scrafty), SWSH (Pangoro for both and Scrafty for Sword)

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Your Starter

Greninja and Incineroar are both starters for their respective series, XY for Greninja and SM and USUM for Incineroar.  They are what make their respective games amazing for a Dark type run.  You have your Pokemon and you don’t need to wait and catch one.  This makes them very ideal to have on your team and they’re both so good.  Greninja is fast, learns Water Shuriken, and can learn a variety of moves.  Incineroar’s Fire type neutralizes Bug and Fairy weaknesses, and can learn some strong Fighting moves.  If you’re torn between the two, why not both?  They both appear in Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon!  Really, their only downfall is that they don’t appear in all the games!

Available inXY (Greninja), SM (Incineroar), USUM (Incineroar and Greninja)

sableye-mega

Sabeleye (and if you’re lucky, Spiritomb)

In the old days, Spiritomb and Sabeleye had no weaknesses due to their type combinations.  When Gamefreak made them they were either weak (Sableye) or had a limited movepool (Spiritomb).  Now they have a Fairy weakness but unfortunately, neither problem was fixed with the exception of Sableye’s Mega Evolution.  Still, that Ghost type is really nice for them as you have an immunity to Fighting and a neutralization for Bug.  Of the two, I pick Sabeleye as it’s more common and it learns some nice moves.  It will learn Zen Headbutt and Power Gem via level up so you can counter your foes easily.  Sabeleye is also available usually early on so keep an eye out for it!  Spiritomb, meanwhile, will only show up legitimately in ORAS but why catch him when you got a sweet Mega-Sabeleye?

Available in: Sapphire and Emerald (Sabeleye), XY (Sabeleye), ORAS (Sabeleye in Sapphire and Spiritomb in both), SM and USUM (Sabeleye)

krookodile

Krookodile

The last MVP Pokemon is a bit subjective but hear me out on this.  Although Krookodile does not neutralize any weaknesses, it makes up for it by stats, moves, abilities, and commonality.  Krookodile’s strength is just behind the starters and Umbreon sitting at a BST of 519.  Intimidate pairs well for its average defenses but it’s Moxie that sells it with Krookodile’s great speed which can make him a Juggernaut.  Krookodile can learn the various Earth-based moves, of course, but it can also learn Outrage, Thunder and Fire Fang, Shadow Claw, and Aqua Tail.  Finally, it is found in every game between Pokemon BW to Pokemon USUM.  Again, another reason why the later games are best for a Dark type run!

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

Best Pokemon Games for a Bug Type Run

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Update 12/30/2019: The article now includes Sword and Shield

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 Legendaries. Even then, fully evolved Bug Pokémon are relatively weak as they are treated as early Pokémon you can train 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.

Monotype Chart Version 2.03

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 “*6A” rating or better 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, USUM, and Sword and Shield. 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. Sword and Shield are probably the best as you can catch a whole team of Bug Pokemon who neutralize your weaknesses RIGHT BEFORE THE FIRST GYM!!!  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

Pokemon Sword and Shield
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!

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

volcarona

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, which only it and Centiskorch share. 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. Crustle gets a boost though in Sword and Shield thanks to the TRs but most importantly it can learn Body Press which relies on the user’s Defense and not Attack stat.  For the love of God you should teach it to Crustle as its Defense is 125!!  That’s a really nice move to have on your team.

These guys are 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), SWSH (Shuckle and Crustle)

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Forretress and Durant (and I guess Trash Wormadam)

It may surprise you how common Bug/Steel types are even when we subtract Scizor, Genesect, and Escavalier. Forretress, Durant, and Wormadam are scattered throughout the games so you’ll probably 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), SWSH (Durant)

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Galvantula and Vikavolt

I love Galvantula, I really do. And although I was sad I couldn’t train one again in Alola, we got 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), SWSH (Both)

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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.

Available in: SM and USUM (Both), SWSH (Both)

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 Version 2.03

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

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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

The Best Pokemon Games for a Poison-Type Run

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

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

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

Monotype Chart Version 2.03

The Worst Games

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

The Best Games

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

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

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

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

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

Poison Teams in Pokemon Games

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

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

Pokemon RSE and ORAS
Ideal Team: Dustox/Beedril (ORAS)/Venomoth (ORAS), Crobat, Tentacruel, Vileplume, Dragalge (OR), Drapion (ORAS)
Optional: Seviper (S, E, AS), Swalot, Roselia (R, S, ORAS), Muk, Weezing, Garbodor (ORAS)
First Pokémon: Wurmple via Route 101
Covers Weaknesses? Yes except for Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald where Psychic is not neutralized.

Pokemon DPP
Ideal Team: Roserade, Crobat, Drapion, Toxicroak, Tentacruel, Dustox
Optional: Haunter, Stuntank (Diamond)
First Pokémon: Zubat via Route 203 and 204 and Budew via Route 204 both of which can be caught before the first gym
Covers Weaknesses? Yes

Pokemon BW and B2W2
BW Ideal Team: Scolipede, Garbodor, Amoongus
First Pokémon: Venipede via Pinwheel Forest after second gym
Cover weaknesses?  No, Psychic is not neutralized.

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

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

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

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

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

MVP (Most Valuable Pokémon)

Crobat Line

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

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

Tentacruel

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

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

Poison/Grass Pokemon

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

Available in: Every game

Poison/Dark Pokemon

One of the best type combos in the games, Poison/Dark is a fantastic combination for Poison Pokemon as that Dark type makes them immune (!) to Psychic attacks!  But the other reason why they’re here on our list is their prevalence.  Drapion, Skuntank, and Alolan Muk are catchable in every game starting from Pokemon Diamond and Pearl onwards with the exception being Pokemon Black and White.  These three can also fight your enemies well.  For instance, Alolan Muk can learn Rock Slide and Flamethrower, Drapion can learn Fire Fang, Aerial Ace, Iron Tail, and Rock Slide, and Skuntank can learn Iron Tail and Flamethrower.

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

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

Nidoking/Nidoqueen

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

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

Scolipede (and other Bug/Poison Pokémon)

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

Available in: Every game

gengar

Gengar/Haunter

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

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

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

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

Best Monotype Runs in Sun and Moon and USUM

June 1st, 2019 Update: This article has been updated to include a Monotype Run for Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. Since the games are very similar I didn’t think it was worth it to make an entirely new article altogether. When looking at the Type Teams look out for the USUM symbols for Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon.
There were also minor corrections on which Pokemon could be caught, I had to remove Heracross, for instance, as it couldn’t be caught until after the Elite Four.
Enjoy!

When Pokémon Sun and Moon was released I wanted to do another Monotype (or Single Type) Run analysis on these games similar to my earlier article on previous generations. The purpose of this project was to determine which types were the best for a Monotype Run in Pokémon Sun and Moon? With just two games to tackle, this question is easier to answer than before however, I had to change my setup as Trials and Kahunas were added and Gym Leaders were removed. I had to tackle this problem a little differently but I think I succeeded. If you want to find out what a team of Bug or Psychic Pokémon would be like in Pokémon Sun, Moon, or USUM just scroll down past these next few paragraphs and find that type.

Image from pokemon.com

RULES: As in my last article, a Monotype Run assumes you don’t trade (so no Golem or Alakazam for instance) to yourself on Pokémon Bank or to other players. If you’re doing a run like Electric, you must capture the first available Electric Pokémon (Pichu) and box your starter. You may capture a Pokémon that will evolve into a certain type (like Pichu for a Psychic-type run) but you must evolve it asap. Only Pokémon that can be caught before the Elite Four are counted (so no Lucario).

So overall, how did Sun and Moon do compared to earlier games? Unfortunately, although Sun/Moon provides players with a diverse set of Pokémon fairly early on, these games are worse at covering weaknesses than XY (but roughly the same as ORAS). XY scored 32 out of 36 (18 types times two games) for neutralizing cover as opposed to SM’s 25 out of 36. Mind you, this is still pretty good when compared to other generation-premiere games as the next best is Ruby/Sapphire with a score of 16 out of 34.
Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon fared better with its increase of 101 Pokemon in the games. They score 31 out of 36 with Pokemon type coverage. Read a few paragraphs below for more information.

Monotype Chart Version 2.03

What are great types for Pokemon Sun and Moon?

image from bulbagarden.net

image from bulbagarden.net

Right off the bat, the two types that are wonderful are Fairy and Ghost. This is the first time we have starters that evolve into these types. This combined with their neutral coverage makes them great types for a Monotype Run. This is one of the few times a Ghost-type run has neutral coverage so I urge you to try it out here. Also, you can catch a plethora of Ghost Pokémon on the first island including Drifloon, Gastly, Misdreavus, and Sableye; great Pokémon that will go far with you (this is also one of the few games where you can catch a Gengar in the wild!  No trading neaded!). Fairy types received a nice, mix bag of Pokémon such as Klefki’s weakness neutralization and Primarina and Mimikyu serving as back up. You can also get a Gardevoir via Island Scan in USUM.

I would argue that Sun and Moon are one of the best Pokémon games for an Ice-type run. You can get a Crabrawler somewhat early and from there you can get a Delibird, Shellder, and Smoochum (just USUM) and then an Eevee on Aklala Island. The biggest thing to consider is your Sandslash and Ninetales exclusives. Both of which neutralize certain weaknesses (Rock, Steel and Fighting respectively) but other Pokémon can cover them so it’s not a do-or-die situation. Also, this is one of the few games where you can do an Ice team with the Snow Warning ability. Catch and train a Vanillish and evolve it into a Vanilluxe for that sweet Hailstorm, your Froslass and other pokemon will benefit HUGELY from it. However, the biggest drawback of your Ice team is many of your powerhouses won’t be available until RIGHT before the Elite Four so that’s too bad.

I need to mention Fire type as well but only for Sun and Ultra Sun. There’s been only one game in the history of Pokémon where Fire’s weaknesses are neutralized and that’s Pokémon Black. Sun and US offers a second chance at a fun Fire-type run thanks primarily to the Sun-exclusive Turtonator. If you’re up for it, catch a Torkoal as well because starting this generation it can learn the ability Drought! Which is fantastic when you want to stop those water types! It will still be a difficult run but fun nonetheless. Look out for Charizard, btw, for Island Scan in USUM.

Electric, usually an okay type for a Monotype Run, is blessed with neutral coverage AND an early-available Pokémon via Pichu. Both of these things do not happen often for Electric, much less when they are together. If you’ve been holding out for a good Electric-type game, now’s the chance to try it out with such picks as Magnezone, Vikavolt, and the Alolan variants of Graveler and Raichu.

Finally, we have our usual types that do well for a Monotype Run such as Water, Normal, Steel and so forth. In particular, Water is probably the best type in Pokemon Sun and Moon for a Monotype Run. A huge diversity combined with a great starter makes Water Type stand above the rest. From Gyarados to Aquachnid, from Slowbro to Gastrodon, Sun and Moon gave us a type that can fill many rolls (special defense, physical attacker, status inflictor) and is there with us from the beginning. Pelipper also has the ability Drizzle in this generation which means you can run a Rain team which is quite rare! If you do that, keep an eye out with pokemon with abilities that use the rain. Oh, and pick up an Empoleon via Island Scan in USUM, lord knows how rare this penguin is so catch it if you’re doing a Water or Steel Type run!

What are poor types in Sun and Moon?

image from bulbagarden.net

As expected, some types took a hit and aren’t as efficient in a Monotype Run as in previous games. For instance, it takes a looooong time before you get a Rock Pokémon so that’s a big disadvantage. Bug’s probably the biggest loser here though as it’s great recent record has finally been broken with glaring weaknesses to Rock attacks. This isn’t to say that a Bug-type run is bad as you still get a lot of new and interesting Pokémon to work with such as Golisopod or Vikavolt, but you’ll have to work hard to make sure you aren’t being torn apart by hikers.

Fighting type also took a hit due to FINALLY losing a starter that gains it as a secondary type. It takes awhile before you catch your first Fighting Pokémon (Crabrawler) and your team will have to watch out for Flying Pokémon (usually, a Lucario would watch your back in previous games but not this time around, they’re available after the Elite Four).

What about USUM?
The increase in type variability lifts Bug type out of the slums and makes it a fantastic type again to train, so hooray! Volcarona and Forretress add some great resistances while providing some stellar support and attacking moves. With them plus Vikavolt, Golisopod and Armaldo (US only), this is probably the best Bug team out of all the games, enjoy it! Your other big winner is Psychic Type as it’s Dark weakness is neutralized. Gallade, Gardevoir, AND Malamar all came to the rescue to stop Dark moves!

Types

Bug
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: 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

Dark
SM Ideal Team: Incineroar, Honchkrow, Muk, Pangoro, Hydregion (scan), Sabeleye
Optional: Krookodile, Absol, Weavile, Raticate, Sharpedo, Mandibuzz (Moon), Umbreon, Persian
First Pokémon: Litten via Starter
Cover weaknesses? Yes

USUM Ideal Team: Incineroar, Malamar, Bisharp, Honchkrow, Muk, Pangoro
Optional: Krookodile, Absol, Weavile, Raticate, Sharpedo/Crawdaunt/Greninja (scan), Tyranitar, Scrafty, Sabeleye, Mandibuzz (UM), Umbreon, Houndoom (US), Persian
First Pokémon: Litten via Starter
Cover weaknesses? Yes

Dragon
SM Ideal Team: Komomo-o, Garchomp, Exeggutor, Drampa (Moon)/Turtonator (Sun), Salamence, Hydreigon (scan)
Optional: Flygon, Haxorus (scan), Goodra
First Pokémon: Bagon via Route 3 (south of the bridge), shortly before the Melemele Grand Trial
Cover weaknesses? Pokemon Sun is weak to just Dragon moves. Pokemon Moon is weak to Dragon, Ice, and Fairy moves.

USUM Ideal Team: Tyrantrum (US)/Dragalge (UM), Komomo-o, Garchomp, Exeggutor, Drampa (UM)/Turtonator (US), Salamence/Noivern
Optional: Flygon, Haxorus (scan), Goodra
First Pokémon: Noibat in Verdant Cavern after the first trial is completed.
Cover weaknesses? Pokemon Ultra Sun is weak to just Dragon moves.  Pokemon Ultra Moon is weak to Dragon and Ice moves.

Electric
SM Ideal Team: Vikavolt, Golem, Magnezone, Raichu, Oricorio, Electabuzz
Optional: Togedemaru, Jolteon, Lanturn
First Pokémon: Pichu and Grubbin via Route 1
Cover weaknesses? Yes
Note: You can get an Alolan Golem via in-game trade at the Tapu Village Pokemon Center, you will need a Haunter.

USUM Ideal Team: Vikavolt, Graveler, Magnezone, Raichu, Oricorio, Electabuzz
Optional: Togedemaru, Jolteon, Lanturn, Ampharos, Manectric Dedenne
First Pokémon: Pichu and Grubbin via Route 1
Cover weaknesses? Yes

Fairy
SM Ideal Team: Primarina, Klefki, Mimikyu, Wigglytuff, Whimsicott (Sun)/Shiinotic, Sylveon
Optional: Granbul, Ninetales (Sun), Carbink, Ribombee, Azumaril (scan)
First Pokémon: Popplio via Starter
Cover weaknesses? Yes

USUM Ideal Team: Primarina, Klefki/Mawile, Mimikyu, Wigglytuff, Whimsicott (US)/Shiinotic, Gardevoir (scan)
Optional: Sylveon, Granbul, Ninetales (US), Carbink, Ribombee, Florges, Dedenne, Mr. Mime
First Pokémon: Popplio via Starter
Cover weaknesses? Yes

Fighting
SM Ideal Team: Crabominable, Emboar (scan), Poliwrath, Bewear, Kommo-o, Pangoro
Optional: Primeape, Passimian (Sun), Hariyama, Machoke
First Pokémon: Crabrawler and Makuhita via Route 2, just before the first trial
Cover weaknesses? No, Flying is not neutralized

USUM Ideal Team: Crabominable, Blaziken (scan), Poliwrath, Bewear, Kommo-o, Pangoro
Optional: Primeape, Passimian (US), Hariyama, Scrafty, Hawlucha, Gallade (scan), Infernape (scan), Chesnaught (scan), Machoke
First Pokémon: Crabrawler and Makuhita via Route 2, just before the first trial
Cover weaknesses? No, Flying is not neutralized

Fire
SM Ideal Team: Incineroar, Arcanine/Turtonator (Sun), Talonflame, Torkoal, Marowak, Emboar (scan)
Optional: Flareon, Chandelure (scan), Salazzle, Magmar, Typhlosion (scan), Oricorio
First Pokémon: Litten via Starter
Cover weaknesses? Only in Sun thanks to Turtonator. In Moon, Water is not neutralized. However, you can cut back on Water’s strength if you train a Torkoal which now can learn the ability Drought.

USUM Ideal Team: Incineroar, Arcanine/Turtonator (US), Charizard (scan), Torkoal, Marowak, Blaziken (scan)
Optional: Flareon, Chandelure (scan), Pyroar, Talonflame, Infernape (scan), Delphox (scan), Salazzle, Volcarona, Magmar, Houndoom (US), Oricorio
First Pokémon: Litten via Starter
Cover weaknesses? Only in Ultra Sun thanks to Turtonator. In Ultra Moon, Water is not neutralized. However, you can cut back on Water’s strength if you train a Torkoal which now can learn the ability Drought.

Flying
SM Ideal Team: Toucannon, Gyarados, Drifblim, Aerodactyl, Salamence, Skarmory
Optional: Braviary (Sun)/Mandibuzz (Moon), Crobat, Talonflame, Masquerain, Honchkrow, Minior, Fearow, Staraptor (scan), Oricorio (4 forms), Dartrix
First Pokémon: Rowlett via Starter
Cover weaknesses? Yes

USUM Ideal Team: Toucannon, Gyarados, Charizard (scan), Aerodactyl, Salamence, Skarmory
Optional: Braviary (US)/Mandibuzz (UM), Crobat, Talonflame, Masquerain, Honchkrow, Minior, Xatu, Tropius, Hawlucha, Noivern, Pidgeot, Fearow, Noctowl, Drifblim, Oricorio (4 forms), Dartrix
First Pokémon: Rowlett via Starter
Cover weaknesses? Yes

Ghost
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, Oricorio
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, Oricorio
First Pokémon: Rowlett via Starter
Cover weaknesses? Yes

Grass
SM Ideal Team: Decidueye, Whimsicott (Sun)/Shiinotic, Exeggutor, Roserade (scan), Dhelmise, Serperior (scan)
Optional: Victreebel (scan), Meganium (scan), Parasect, Leafeon, Trevenant
First Pokémon: Rowlet via Starter
Cover weaknesses? No, in Sun and Moon, Grass is weak to Flying and Ice

USUM Ideal Team: Decidueye, Whimsicott (US)/Shiinotic, Torterra (scan), Exeggutor, Venusaur (scan), Cradily (UM)/Chesnaught (scan)
Optional: Sceptile (scan), Dhelmise, Tropius, Parasect, Leafeon, Trevenant
First Pokémon: Rowlet via Starter
Cover weaknesses? No, In Ultra Sun, Grass is weak to Flying and Ice. In Ultra Moon, Grass is weak to Ice.

Ground
SM Ideal Team: Dugtrio, Gastrodon, Mamoswine (scan), Palossand, Krookodile, Garchomp
Optional: Mudsdale, Flygon, Rhydon (scan), 
First Pokémon: Diglett in Verdant Cavern after completion of first trial
Cover weaknesses? Yes

USUM Ideal Team: Dugtrio, Gastrodon, Mamoswine (scan), Palossand, Krookodile, Garchomp
Optional: Mudsdale, Flygon, Rhydon (scan), Claydol (UM), Golurk (US), Swampert (scan), Torterra (scan), Onix (scan)
First Pokémon: Diglett in Verdant Cavern after completion of first trial
Cover weaknesses? Yes

Ice
SM Ideal Team: Froslass, Vanilluxe, Sandslash(Moon)/Ninetales (Sun), Mamoswine (scan), Cloyster/Lapras/Walrein(scan), Crabominable
Optional: Delibird, Glaceon, Weavile
First Pokémon: Crabrawler via Route 2, just before the first trial
Cover weaknesses? Surprisingly yes regardless of version differences.

USUM Ideal Team: Jynx, Vanilluxe, Sandslash(UM)/Ninetales (US), Mamoswine (scan), Cloyster/Lapras/Walrein(scan), Crabominable
Optional: Delibird, Glaceon, Dewgong, Aurorus (UM), Weavile, Froslass
First Pokémon: Crabrawler via Route 2, just before the first trial
Cover weaknesses? Surprisingly yes regardless of version differences.

Normal

SM Ideal Team: Toucannon, Tauros/Drampa (Moon), Snorlax, Wigglytuff, Bewear, Oranguru (Moon)/Miltank
Optional: Raticate, Blissey, Braviary (Sun), Fearow, Staraptor (scan), Slaking (scan), Gumshoos, Smeargle, Spinda, Stoutland, Kangaskhan, Ditto, Komala
First Pokémon: Yungoos and Pikipek via Route 1
Cover weaknesses? Yes

USUM Ideal Team: Toucannon, Tauros/Drampa (UM), Snorlax, Wigglytuff, Bewear, Oranguru (UM)/Miltank
Optional: Raticate, Blissey, Pyroar, Pidgeot (scan), Lopunny, Braviary (US), Fearow, Gumshoos, Smeargle, Spinda, Stoutland, Kangaskhan, Ditto, Komala, Furfrou, Noctowl, Kecleon, Cinccino
First Pokémon: Yungoos, Pikipek, and Buneary via Route 1
Cover weaknesses? Yes

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

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

Psychic
SM Ideal Team: Oranguru (Moon)/Gothitelle (scan), Starmie, Espeon, Metagross, Raichu, Slowbro
Optional: Hypno, Kadabra, Bruxish, Oricorio, Reuniclus (scan)
First Pokémon: Pichu via Route 1
Cover weaknesses? No, Dark is not neutralized in Sun and Moon.

USUM Ideal Team: Oranguru (UM)/Malamar, Slowbro/Starmie, Gallade (scan), Metagross, Gardevoir (scan), Delphox (scan)
Optional: Hypno, Kadabra, Bruxish, Oricorio, Xatu, Claydol (UM), Beheeyem, Mr. Mime, Espeon, Raichu, Slowking (S.O.S. by Slowpoke in Kala’e Bay), Jynx
First Pokémon: Pichu via Route 1
Cover weaknesses? Yes, all weaknesses are neutralized.

Rock
SM Ideal Team: Rhydon(scan), Aerodactyl, Relicanth/Caracosta(Sun), Bastiodon(Moon)/Probopass, Lycanroc, Alolan Golem
Optional: Sudowoodo, Rampardos (Sun), Archeops (Moon), Carbink, Corsola, Boldore, Minior
First Pokémon: Bonsly via Route 1, after the Grand Trial
Cover weaknesses? Yes
Note: You can get an Alolan Golem via in-game trade at the Tapu Village Pokemon Center, you will need a Haunter.

USUM Ideal Team: Tyrantrum (US)/Lycanroc, Rhydon(scan), Tyranitar, Aerodactyl, Relicanth/Caracosta(US), Bastiodon(UM)/Probopass
Optional: Lycanroc, Sudowoodo, Rampardos (US), Archeops (UM), Omastar (US), Kabutops (UM), Graveler, Armaldo (US), Cradily (UM), Carbink, Aurorus (UM), Boldore, Corsola, Minior, Onix (scan)
First Pokémon: Bonsly via Route 1, after the Grand Trial
Cover weaknesses? Yes

Steel
SM Ideal Team: Metagross, Skarmory, Dugtrio, Bastiodon (Moon)/Probopass, Aegislash (scan), Klefki
Optional Pokémon: Sandslash (Moon), Togedemaru, Magnezone
First Pokémon: Magnemite near the Trainer School, before the first trial
Cover weaknesses? Yes

USUM Ideal Team: Metagross, Skarmory, Empoleon (scan), Dugtrio, Bastiodon (UM)/Probopass, Aegislash (scan)
Optional Pokémon: Sandslash (UM), Togedemaru, Klefki/Mawile, Forretress, Bisharp, Magnezone
First Pokémon: Magnemite near the Trainer School, before the first trial
Cover weaknesses? Yes

Water
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.

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 Version 2.03

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 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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