Tag Archives: Pokemon USUM

Best Pokemon Games for a Dark Type Run

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 Single Type Run (or a Monotype 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.

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 Single Type 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 USUM 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 like I said, Pokemon Black, B2W2, ORAS, and SM are also good.

XY and USUM’s diversity is on a whole another level, like S-tier level.  You can catch about 12 different type combinations from each game which is ridiculous.  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 Single Type 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: Shiftry (R, E, OR)/Cacturne, Crawdaunt/Sharpedo, Sabeleye (S, E, AS)/Absol, Honchkrow (ORAS), Krookodile (ORAS), Drapion (ORAS), Hydreigon (ORAS)
Optional Pokémon: Absol, Mightyena, Umbreon (ORAS), Zoroark (ORAS), Mega-Gyarados (ORAS), Spiritomb (ORAS)
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)/Absol, Krookodile, Scrafty, Drapion, Bisharp
Optional: Liepard, Umbreon
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
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
First Pokémon: Litten via Starter
Covers Weaknesses? Yes

 

MVP (Most Valuable Pokemon)

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Poison/Dark Pokemon

Single Type 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 (excluding Alola Muk as you can find it very near the beginning of the game).  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)

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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

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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 and USUM.

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)

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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), SM (Pangoro), and USUM (Pangoro and Scrafty)

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

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

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

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

Rules

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

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

Worst Pokémon Games

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

Best Pokémon Games

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

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

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.

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

 

MVP (Most Valuable Pokémon)

250px-214heracross

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

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

Available in: BW, B2W2, ORAS, USUM

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Shuckle, Armaldo, and Crustle

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

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

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

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Forretress and Durant (and I guess Trash Wormadam)

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

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

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

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Galvantula and Vikavolt

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

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

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Golisopod and Araquanid

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

The Best Pokemon Games for a Grass Type Run

If you’re looking for a challenging but doable Single Type (or Monotype) 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 Single Type 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.

Single Type Chart  Version 1.1

The Best Games

The good news is that most of the series’ games will give you a full team of Grass types with the trade off being not all of them will cover your weaknesses. But for you die hard fans I recommend looking at Pokémon Sapphire, Emerald, X, Y, and AlphaSapphire 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, and any of the Sun/Moon games as they have reasonable diversity with some fun Pokémon.

For those of you interested what some of these team rundowns may look like let me give you a sample.

AlphaSapphire you have (Mega) Sceptile, Breloom, Ludicolo, Trevenant, Roserade, and Cradily. Cacturne, Whimsicott, and Tropius are other options.

X and Y you have Chesnaught, (Mega) Venusaur, Ludicolo, Ferrothorn, Exeggutor, and Trevenant. Mow Rotom, Vileplume, Victreebel, Jumpluff, Gogoat, Simisage, and Roserade are other options.

Sun and Moon have Decidueye, Whimsicott, Parasect, Exeggutor, Roserade, and Dhelmise. USUM additionally contains Cradily, Mow Rotom, and Tropius.

So pretty fantastic overall but if 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 can learn Rock Slide to handle Bug Pokémon. Mega Venusaur’s Thick Fat ability neutralizes Fire and Ice weaknesses so if you don’t want Ludicolo and want say Jumpluff then your fine. Even then Ludicolo 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 like Psychic and Shadow Moves which further aid your run. Finally, Ferrothorn rounds off our team by being its 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. Although Ludicolo doesn’t have the best stats it makes up for its 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

Grass/Poison Pokémon

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

Available in: All games

250px-598Ferrothorn

Ferrothorn

Generally speaking, when you do a single type 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. 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 flaws might be its lack of move diversity and its limited availability. And 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 and XY

Cradily

Your other major counter against the birds will be Cradily who can actually learn Rock moves but here’s the catch, Cradily doesn’t naturally learn any decent Rock moves! 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 you have a Pokémon you can use against the like of Fire Pokémon which is quite impressive. Cradily does suffer though from its horrendous speed, its lackluster ability, and 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

Best Single Type Runs in Sun and Moon and USUM

June 1st, 2019 Update: This article has been updated to include a Single Type 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 Single Type Run (or Monotype 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 Single Type 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 Single Type 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.

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 benefit the most 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 Single Type 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. 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 probably the best Pokémon games for an Ice-type run. You can get a Crabrawler somewhat early and from there you can get a Delibird and a Shellder 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 Single Type 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 Single Type Run such as Water, Normal, Steel and so forth. In particular, Water is probably the best type in Pokemon Sun and Moon for a Single Type 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 Single Type 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: 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

Dark
SM Ideal Team: Incineroar, Honchkrow, Muk, Pangoro, Hydregion (scan), Sabeleye
Optional: Krookodile, Absol, Weavile, Raticate, Sharpedo, Mandibuzz (Moon), Umbreon
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
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, Graveler, Magnezone, Raichu, Oricorio, Electabuzz
Optional: Togedemaru, Jolteon, Lanturn,
First Pokémon: Pichu and Grubbin via Route 1
Cover weaknesses? Yes

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
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)
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)
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
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)
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
First Pokémon: Rowlett via Starter
Cover weaknesses? Yes

Ghost
SM Ideal Team: Decidueye, Sableye, Palossand, Aegislash(scan), Marowak, Mimikyu
Optional: Trevanant, Dhelmise, Froslass, Drifblim, Haunter, Chandelure (scan), Mismagius
First Pokémon: Rowlett via Starter
Cover weaknesses? Yes

USUM Ideal Team: Decidueye, Sableye, Palossand, Aegislash(scan), Marowak, Mimikyu
Optional: Trevanant, Dhelmise, Froslass, Drifblim, Haunter, Chandelure (scan), Mismagius, Banette, Jellicent, Golurk
First Pokémon: Rowlett via Starter
Cover weaknesses? Yes

Grass
SM Ideal Team: Decidueye, Whimsicott (Sun)/Shiinotic, Exeggutor, Roserade (scan), 
Optional: Victreebel (scan), Dhelmise, Meganium (scan), Parasect, Leafeon
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
Optional: Sceptile, Dhelmise, Tropius, Meganium, Parasect, Chesnaught, Leafeon
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)
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: Froslass, Vanilluxe, Sandslash(UM)/Ninetales (US), Mamoswine (scan), Cloyster/Lapras/Walrein(scan), Crabominable
Optional: Delibird, Glaceon, Dewgong, Aurorus (UM), Weavile
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, Salazzle, Roserade (scan), Scolipede (scan)
Optional: Haunter, Victreebel (scan), Ariados, Garbodor
First Pokémon: Spinarak via Route 1
Cover weaknesses? Yes

USUM Ideal Team: Muk, Dragalge (UM)/Ariados/Beedril (scan), Crobat, Tentacruel/Toxapex, Salazzle, Venusaur (scan)
Optional: Haunter, Garbodor, Arbok 
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
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, Carbink
Optional: Sudowoodo, Rampardos (Sun), Archeops (Moon), Graveler, Corsola, Boldore, Minior
First Pokémon: Bonsly via Route 1, after the Grand Trial
Cover weaknesses? Yes

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
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 (Moon)/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
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), Corsola/Relicanth/Caracosta(US), Omastar (US), Kabutops (UM), Jellicent, Clawitzer, Blastoise (scan), Swampert (scan), Cloyster/Lapras/Walrein(scan), Golduck, Vaporeon
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 Single Type Run

Updated 7/09/19: The article contains an updated version of the chart (now colored red).  Minor fixes and edits were made to improve the original chart.  As usual, if you see anything that should be changed, let me know.
The original article was also updated to include Sun, Moon, and USUM.  You can read about them here and a more in-depth article about them here.

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

Simply put, a Single Type Run (or Monotype 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 Single Type 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 Single Type Run.

Single Type Run Chart

click on the image to enlarge it

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

  1. A type must be selected before starting the game. Upon playing the game the player must make all attempts to capture a Pokémon of that type as soon as possible. Once captured, the previous Pokémon of the party must be disregarded if they are not of that type.
  2. Pokémon that have yet to evolve into that type (e.g., Nidoran in a Ground type Run or Caterpie in a Flying type Run) may be caught but must be evolved as soon as possible.
  3. Trading is not allowed
  4. Only Pokemon caught before Elite Four are applicable for your team.
  5. Mega Evolutions that changes a Pokémon to your type are allowed provided you mega evolve the Pokémon as soon as their battle begins.

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

In order to determine which Pokémon games are the best for a Single Type Run I had to design a categorizing system that was nonsubjective. What’s more, I had to find a simple but effective rating system that can satisfy all 406 possible combinations between typing and the games. This was solved by a dual grading system using numbers and letters. Every typing and video game combination has a one letter (A-F) and one number (1-4) grade for how beneficial a Single Type Run would be. Numbers indicate a game’s type diversity. For instance: 1=At least six unique catchable Pokémon, all weaknesses are neutralized/covered; 2=At least six unique catchable Pokémon; 3=Three-to-five unique catchable Pokémon; 4=Only one-to-two unique catchable Pokémon. Letters indicate how early you can catch a Pokémon: A=First Pokémon you can catch is before the first gym; B=Between the first-second gym; C=Between the second-third gym; D=Between the third-fifth gym; F=After the fifth gym. For example, if you were to do a Ground type run in Pokémon Red, you would have a 2A rating (i.e., you can catch at least six Ground type Pokémon and the first Pokémon you can catch is before the first gym (the Nidorans)).

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

For the purpose of saving a lot of headaches, trading was not included in the Single Type 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 Single Type Run

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

SM and USUM Update
The 7th Generation of Pokemon games are also very good.  Unfortunately, we can’t apply them to the rating system but we can still make some fairly good calls.  First off, the level of diversity in Sun and Moon rivals ORAS while Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon have a team diversity almost on par with X and Y.  This means that many types are quite feasible for a Single Type Run although I would hesitate to choose Rock or Dragon types due to their availability of the end of the first island.  Ice types are actually doable in the game thanks to Crabrawler which is a welcome change of pace for them!  For more information about Sun and Moon and its sequels check out my in-depth article here.

The games to avoid would definitely be the Generation 1 games and that’s not surprising given the games’ initial lack of diversity. Pokémon Blue and Yellow only have one 1A rating (Normal) while Red has that and Electric. Ironically, the Electric type only sometimes acquires a 1A rating given their low diversity. If you want to do an Electric type Run in Yellow, catch a Pikachu and later catch a Magnemite, then Jolteon, Electabuzz, Voltorb, and Zapdos. I wouldn’t recommend this though given the mentioned Pokémon have a rather low movepool (look towards B2 and W2 if you want an Electric type Run).

The Best and Worst Types for a Single Type Run

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

If you don’t want Normal I would then recommend a Water type Run (although Ground, Bug, and Flying are also good). Again, their commonality and low amount of weaknesses make them a great type to do a Run. Water/Ground and Water/Flying Pokémon are surprisingly common and are introduced in almost every generation. These two potent combos cover Water type’s weaknesses and more than help you have a good time. If I were to recommend some games they would be Pokémon Sapphire, Emerald, and Alpha Sapphire. Pick Mudkip as your starter (Water/Ground), catch a Lotad (Water/Grass) in Route 102, and Wingull (Water/Flying) in Route 104 and you are set. From there, you are given a huge range of great Water Pokémon. Some off the top of my head are Gyarados, Crawdaunt, Sharpedo, Lanturn, Tentacruel, Marill, and Relicanth.

Ice and Dragon type are the worse types for a Single Type Run. This is not surprising given they are usually available fairly late in the game and their diversity is rather lack luster. Surprisingly, Ice type received a 1 rating in Silver and Crystal but is severely marred by their late game status. If you want to do an Ice type run go for X and Y. Pick up the Sail Fossil, resurrect Amaura, and start catching some great Ice Pokémon.  You can also do Pokemon SM and USUM thanks to Crabrawler’s early availability and the nice diversity of Ice types in those games.  Unfortunately, Dragon type never gets a 1 rating although it has come close. As for which game, I’m honestly torn between XY and ORAS. On the one hand, you can get a Mega Sceptile/Altaria in ORAS although in X you can get a Mega Charizard X. Tough call.

Trivia

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

-In general, the third game in a series (Crystal, Emerald, Platinum, B2W2, and USUM) will have an increase in 1A ratings due to an increase in diversity. The only exception to this is Pokémon Yellow.

-Remakes’ (FRLG and HGSS) ratings are generally similar to their original games as Pokémon availability are generally the same. The major exception to this is ORAS which introduced the National Dex before the Elite Four and not after. ORAS has a 1A rating of 10.5/18 (58%) while Ruby and Sapphire averages out to 6.5/17 (38%).

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

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

Final Thoughts?

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

Link to other Single Type 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 Eevee/Pikachu

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