Tag Archives: 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.

Pokemon Monotype Chart Version 2.02

Worst Games

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

Best Games

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

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

 

Water Teams in Pokemon Games

RBY and FRLG
Ideal Team: Blastoise, Slowbro, Poliwrath, Lapras, Tentacruel, Vaporeon
Optional: Starmie, Gyarados, Omastar/Kabutops, Cloyster, Dewgong
First available Pokémon: Squirtle via starter or Magikarp via the Pokecenter just before Mt. Moon in Yellow
Covers weaknesses? No, Electric is not neutralized

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

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

DPP
Ideal Team: Empoleon, Quagsire/Whiscash/Gastrodon, Gyarados/Mantine, Tentacruel, Octillery, Vaporeon (Platinum)
Optional: Golduck, Milotic, Octillery, 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 Monotype Runs for Pokemon Sword and Shield

TLDR: Pokemon SWSH are the best games in the series for a Monotype Run.  You can catch every type before the first gym.  Water, Flying, Steel, Psychic, and Bug are probably the best whereas Fire and Dragon are the worst.  The full list of teams is at the end of this article.

Without a doubt, Pokemon Sword and Shield (SWSH) are the best games in the entire Pokemon franchise for a Monotype Run (also called Single Type).  A Monotype Run is a self-imposed challenge where you play a Pokemon game with only one type, sort of like a gym leader.  You pick a type, like Dark, and catch the first Pokemon that matches that type, in this case Nickit, and from there only catch Pokemon of that type and progress your way to the Champion.  The Pokemon diversity in SWSH is absolutely incredible as you can catch every type before the first gym (compared to XY’s 14 types)!  Additionally, out of 18 types and two games, 32 of 36 team combinations have all their weaknesses covered which is INSANE (XY ties it for the best).  As such any type you pick will basically be a winner!  I have a list of full teams below but first let’s take a look at the rules.

Rules

  1. A type must be selected before starting the game. Upon playing the game the player must make all attempts to capture a Pokémon of that type as soon as possible. Once captured, the previous Pokémon of the party must be disregarded if they are not of that type.
  2. Pokémon that have yet to evolve into that type (e.g., Chewtle for a Rock type run) may be caught but must be evolved as soon as possible.
  3. Trading is not allowed
  4. Only Pokemon caught before you fight the Champion are counted

Optional Rules
Many folks have commented that SWSH are among the easiest games in the series.  If you find that to be the case with your Monotype team I encourage you to make it more difficult by imposing such rules as

  • Changing the battle from “shift” to “set” so you won’t have an advantage on your opponent
  • Not teaching your Pokemon TM, TR, or Move Relearner moves
  • Avoid potions and other healing items
  • And any other rules you think may give you a more challenging, but still fun, playthrough

Monotype Chart 2.02

1200px-823corviknight

Best Types

I could go on and on why all these types are amazing so I’ll do my best to keep it short and to the point.  The short of it is that any type is pretty great because you can catch a Pokemon from EVERY TYPE before the first gym!  No other game has come close to this perfection!  The Wild Area is the main factor as, in some cases, you can have a full team of Pokemon of your type before hitting the first gym.  But what about the best?  Water, Steel, Psychic, Bug, and Flying are probably the best due to their extreme early availability and amazing diversity.  There are so many team combinations that to say that one is the “best” is a mute point.  My interpretation of a type’s ideal team will certainly be different from yours and I think that’s what makes these types so great.

Weather Teams are also really wonderful as you can catch Pokemon that will trigger weather conditions on the battlefield.  Ground is excellent, as usual, but I want to focus on Ice and Rock.  SWSH are probably the best games in the series for an Ice and Rock run.  For Ice, you can catch a Snover and Vanillite at the Wild Area whereas for Rock you can catch a Larvitar in Shield and a Gigalith in both versions.  These Pokemon’s abilities will trigger weather conditions that you can use to full advantage.  I strongly recommend you to catch a Darmanitan in Sword as its ability Gorilla Tactics makes it a fast, physical sweeper.

815

Worst Types

Unfortunately, Sword and Shield came SO CLOSE to getting a perfect record!  Despite your starter, Fire is probably the worst type due to its inability to cover weaknesses.  In Shield you are exposed to Rock and Water moves whereas in Sword it’s just Rock thanks to the version exclusive Turtonator.  Granted, Fire traditionally has a tough time covering weaknesses and has only pulled it off a few times.  If a SWSH sequel comes out Gamefreak just needs to add Camerupt or one of the fire starters and it’s perfect.  Still though, this is a pretty good team!  You got a Torkoal with Drought, which is excellent, and combined with such Pokemon as Chandelure, Centiskorch, and Coalossal you’ll have a great team!  Finally, Ghost in Sword and Fairy in Shield have a weakness exposed so be prepared.

Hmm, if I have to pick one more type it would be Dragon as it’s comparatively “bad” even though SWSH are the best games in the entire series for a Dragon run.  It has two main pitfalls.  Finding your first Dragon Pokemon can be a draaaaag.  Initially, Dragon Pokemon only spawn from this one specific Den (37/64)in the Wild Area so if it’s not going you need to buy a few Wishing Stones to spawn them in Max Raid Battles.  Thankfully, you’ll start with good team members like Trapinch, Axew, Noibat and Jangmo-o (Sword) or Goomy (Shield).  Second, you will be wide open to your weaknesses until near the end of the game thanks to the late-appearing Duraludon so that Fairy and Ice Gym is going to be rooooooooough.

 

Wild Area and Your First Pokemon
Usually, finding your first Pokemon is pretty straightforward.  Is it your starter?  If not, what’s the first route it shows up on?  That’s it.

Sword and Shield’s Wild Area has thrown that out of the window and was by far the most time consuming part of my research.  I’m glad that 11 out of the 18 types can be found before the Wild Area because those were super easy.  But those other seven types were rough so here’s how I broke it down.  I wrote down what Pokemon were easiest or most likely to find first and then wrote other Pokemon you can find that are rarer but still possible to find.  If there’s a Pokemon you can find only in Max Raid battles, I took note of that and wrote down their den numbers which were provided by Serebii.

Also, so we’re on the same page, random encounters are encounters with the “!” symbol whereas overworld encounters are Pokemon just walking around.

 

Type Teams

Bug

Ideal Team: Crustle, Centiskorch, Durant, Orbeetle, Galvantula, Araquanid/Golisopod

Optional Pokémon: Butterfree, Vikavolt, Shedinja, Ninjask, Escavalier (Sword Raid), Accelgor (Shield Raid), Ribombee, Vespiquen, Shuckle, Frosmoth

First Pokémon: Blipbug, Caterpie, Grubbin by random encounters (30%, 15%, and 10%) via Route 1.

Weaknesses Covered? Yes, and it’s taken care of before the first gym!

 

Dark

Ideal Team: Drapion, Grimmsnarl, Malamar, Bisharp, Scrafty (Sword)/Pangoro, Mandibuzz (Shield)/Crawdaunt

Optional Pokémon: Thievul, Liepard, Shiftry (Sword), Obstagoon, Skuntank, Umbreon, Weavile, Sableye (Shield), Morpeko, Tyranitar (Shield), Hydreigon (Sword)

First Pokémon: Nickit by overworld (5%) via Route 1.  Route 2 is more productive with Zigzagoon and Nickit by overworld (2% and 15%) and Purrloin and Seedot (Sword) by random encounters (10% and 20%).

Weaknesses Covered? Yes

 

Dragon

Ideal Team: Flygon, Dracovish, Turtonator (Sword)/Haxorus, Kommo-o (Sword)/Drampa (Shield), Duraludon, Dragapult

Optional Pokémon: Goodra (Shield), Flapple (Sword)/Appletun (Shield), Dracozolt, Hydreigon (Sword)

First Pokémon: In Rolling Fields, you can always find Dragon Pokemon by Max Raids at Den 37/64.  These include Noibat, Trapinch, Axew, Jangmo-o (Sword), Goomy (Shield) and sometimes Applin and Dreepy.

Weaknesses Covered? Yes, thanks to Duraludon who’s unfortunately catchable near the end of the game.

 

Electric

Ideal Team: Vikavolt, Toxtricity, Wash Rotom, Galvantula, Dracozolt, Arctozolt

Optional Pokémon: Manectric, Jolteon, Other Rotom Forms, Boltund, Raichu, Morpeko, Togedemaru, Pincurchin, Heliolisk

First Pokémon: Grubbin by random encounters (10%) via Route 1.  Yamper will follow soon after on Route 2 by overworld (5%).

Weaknesses Covered? Yes

 

Fairy

Ideal Team: Weezing, Togekiss, Gardevoir, Mawile (Sword)/Sylveon, Mimikyu, Grimmsnarl

Optional Pokémon: Clefable, Shiinotic, Slurpuff (Sword), Ribombee, Whimsicott, Alcremie, Aromatisse (Shield), Hatterene, Rapidash (Shield)

First Pokémon: You can find a Ralts in Overcast random encounters in Rolling Fields.  In Rolling Fields, Den 33/62 will always spawn Fairy Pokemon (Cleffa, Togepi, Cutiefly, Swirlix, Clefairy, Morelull and sometimes Impidimp and Ralts).

Weaknesses Covered? Only in Sword thanks to Mawile.  In Shield, Fairy is exposed to Steel type moves.

 

Fighting

Ideal Team: Scrafty (Sword)/Pangoro, Lucario, Toxicroak (Shield)/Kommo-o (Sword), Gallade, Bewear, Hawlucha

Optional Pokémon: Hitmonchan, Hitmonlee, Hitmontop, Gurdurr, Machamp, Sirfetch’d (Sword), Throh, Sawk, Passimian (Sword), Falinks, Grapploct

First Pokémon: You can always find Tyrogue by overworld encounters in the Rolling Fields and you can always find Pancham in the Rolling Hills’ western most grasses by overworld.  In the East Lake Axewell, you can always find a Stufful by overworld encounters and sometimes by random encounters.  Look out for Machop at South Lake Miloch as you can find them in most weather conditions.  Finally, Ralts is rarer but you can find them in Overcast encounters at Rolling Fields.  In Rolling Fields, Den 1/48 will always spawn Fighting Pokemon for Max Raid battles such as Scraggy (Sword), Croagunk (Shield), Timburr, and sometimes Riolu.  This is before the first gym.

Weaknesses Covered? Yes, and you can accomplish this before the first gym!

 

Fire

Ideal Team: Cinderace, Torkoal, Centiskorch, Coalossal, Heat Rotom, Turtonator (Sword)/Arcanine

Optional Pokémon: Flareon, Ninetales, Salazzle, Chandelure, Heatmor, technically Darmanitan in Zen Mode

First Pokémon: Scorbunny via Starter

Weaknesses Covered? Sadly no, Shield is weak to Water and Rock.  Sword is weak to just Rock thanks to Turtonator.

 

Flying

Ideal Team: Corviknight, Noivern, Sigilyph, Togekiss, Gyarados, Hawlucha

Optional Pokémon: Swoobat, Braviary (Sword), Mandibuzz (Shield), Xatu, Noctowl, Unfezant, Butterfree, Pelipper, Delibird, Ninjask, Vespiquen, Drifblim, Fan Rotom, Cramorant, Mantine

First Pokémon: Rookidee by overworld (30%) and Hoothoot and Caterpie by random encounters (5% and 15%) via Route 1.

Weaknesses Covered? Yes

 

Ghost

Ideal Team: Golurk, Dragapult, Dusknoir, Sableye (Shield)/Mimikyu, Gengar, Aegislash

Optional Pokémon: Runerigus, Cofagrigus, Shedinja, Gourgeist, Froslass, Polteageist, Rotom, Cursola (Shield), Chandelure, Jellicent, Trevanant (Raid), Dhelmise, Drifblim, Eternatus

First Pokémon: Watchtower Ruins is your best bet.  Regardless of weather you will find a Duskull, Drifloon, Gastly, or Golett by random encounters.  You can also find a Nincada at South Lake Miloch by Intense Sun random encounter.  Finally, you will always catch Ghosts in Den 6/47 at Watchtower Ruins for Max Raid battles.

Weaknesses Covered? Yes in Shield due to the exclusive Sableye.  In Sword you are exposed to Ghost moves.

 

Grass

Ideal Team: Rillaboom, Ludicolo (Shield)/Dhelmise, Flapple (Sword)/Appletun (Shield), Roserade, Ferrothorn, Mow Rotom

Optional Pokémon: Vileplume, Gourgeist, Cherrim, Shiftry (Sword), Eldegoss, Whimsicott, Shiinotic, Bellossom, Trevanant (Raid), Leafeon, Tsareena, Abomasnow, Maractus

First Pokémon: Grooky via Starter

Weaknesses Covered? Yes

 

Ground

Ideal Team: Flygon, Hippowdon, Golurk, Gastrodon, Excadrill, Sandaconda

Optional Pokémon: Diggersby, Mudsdale, Onix, Whiscash, Steelix, Quagsire, Runerigus, Seismitoad, Rhyperior (Raid), Dugtrio, Claydol, Stunfisk, Mamoswine

First Pokémon:  In the Rolling Fields, you will find Bunnelby in the overworld in every weather except Snowstorm and Thunderstorm; additionally, you will always find them by random encounter.  You can also find Nincada, Mudbray, Baltoy, Golett, and Diggersby in random encounters throughout the Wild Area.  They are most common in Sandstorms and Intense Sun (although Sandstorms won’t be unlocked until after the third gym).  Look for Swinub when it’s Snowing, Barboach fishing in South Lake Miloch, and Tympole and Wooper in West Lake Axewell.  You can also find Ground Pokemon for Den 16/52 in Rolling Fields for Max Raid Battles including the aforementioned Pokemon as well as Diglett and Yamask.  There’s also a chance to find a Trapinch by Max Raid battles in Rolling Fields.  This is before the first gym.

Weaknesses Covered? Yes

 

Ice

Ideal Team: Abomasnow, Froslass, Mamoswine, Cloyster, Mr. Rime, Frost Rotom

Optional Pokémon: Glalie, Delibird, Glaceon, Vanilluxe, Beartic, Weavile, Frosmoth, Avalugg, Lapras, Darmanitan (Sword), Eiscue (Shield), Arctovish, Arctozolt

First Pokémon:  You are guaranteed to find an Ice type Pokemon if it’s Snowing in the Wild Area.  Find an area that’s snowing and start searching!  The Pokemon you can find include Snover, Snorunt, Swinub, Vanillite, Delibird, and Shellder (fishing) via Wild Area.  Look for Sneasel in Den 35 at West Lake Axewell for Max Raid battles. This can all be done before the first gym.

Weaknesses Covered?  Yes, and it’s taken care of well before the first gym!

 

Normal

Ideal Team: Bewear, Heliolisk, Unfezant, Oranguru (Shield)/Indeedee, Drampa (Shield)/Obstagoon, Snorlax

Optional Pokémon: Diggersby, Noctowl, Braviary (Sword), Greedent, Dubwool, Cinccino, Persian, Ditto

First Pokémon: Wooloo and Skwovet by overworld (15% and 50%) and Hoothoot and Skwovet by random encounters (5% and 50%) via Route 1.

Weaknesses Covered? Yes

 

Poison

Ideal Team: Drapion, Roserade, Toxapex, Weezing, Toxicroak (Shield)/Toxtricity, Gengar

Optional Pokémon: Vileplume, Skuntank, Garbodor, Salazzle (Shield), Qwilfish, Toxtricity, Eternatus

First Pokémon:  You can always find Stunky in random encounters at North Lake Miloch.  Keep an eye out for Oddish, Gastly, Budew, and Roselia as they can be found throughout the Wild Area.  Finally, Den 29/86 at East Lake Axewell will always spawn Poison Pokemon for Max Raid Battles.

Weaknesses Covered? Yes, and it’s taken care of before the first gym!

 

Psychic

Ideal Team: Orbeetle, Sigilyph, Bronzong, Gardevoir, Gallade, Malamar

Optional Pokémon: Swoobat, Musharna, Solrock (Sword)/Lunatone (Shield), Meowstic, Reuniclus (Shield), Gothitelle (Sword), Hatterene, Mr. Rime, Espeon, Claydol, Xatu, Wobbuffet, Beheeyem, Rapidash (Shield), Indeedee, Oranguru (Shield)

First Pokémon: Blipbug by random encounters (30%) via Route 1

Weaknesses Covered? Yes, and it’s taken care of before the first gym!

 

Rock

Ideal Team: Crustle, Drednaw, Coalossal, Stonjourner (Sword)/Tyranitar (Shield), Gigalith, Solrock (Sword)/Lunatone (Shield)

Optional Pokémon: Sudowoodo, Rhyperior (Raid), Shuckle, Onix, Barbaracle

First Pokémon: Chewtle by overworld (10%) via Route 2.

Weaknesses Covered? Yes, and it’s taken care of before the first gym!  Which is good because it’s Grass, see if you can evolve your Rolycoly before you fight Milo otherwise you might need to lean on Dwebble.  Also, get the Sandstream Ability from Gigalith.

 

Steel

Ideal Team: Corviknight, Excadrill, Bronzong, Ferrothorn, Aegislash, Duraludon

Optional Pokémon: Perrserker, Steelix, Klinklang, Stunfisk, Bisharp, Mawile (Sword), Lucario, Copperajah, Durant, Togedemaru, Escavalier (Sword Raid)

First Pokémon: Rookidee by overworld (30%) via Route 1

Weaknesses Covered? Yes

 

Water

Ideal Team: Inteleon, Gyarados, Gastrodon, Dracovish, Araquanid, Ludicolo (Shield)/Cloyster

Optional Pokémon: Crawdaunt, Drednaw, Quagsire, Seismitoad, Golisopod, Qwilfish, Toxapex, Whiscash, Wishiwashi, Pyukumuku, Barraskewda, Milotic, Wailord, Lanturn, Mantine, Basculin, Vaporeon, Pelipper, Kingler, Seaking, Octillery, Wash Rotom, Cramorant, Lapras, Jellicent, Arctovish

First Pokémon: Sobble via Starter

Weaknesses Covered? Yes, and it can be taken care before the first gym!  Which is good because the first gym is Grass.  You might want to consider a Rain team with Pelipper’s Drizzle ability.

 

Donation for Website

If you like my Monotype Run article you can show your appreciation with a small $1 donation. I annually pay fees for the website and I would like to add more features to it such as an easy search filter for Pokemon Teams. Thanks!

$1.00

Links to other Pokemon Monotype Articles

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
Pokemon 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

The Best Pokémon Games and Types for a Monotype Run

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Best and Worst Pokémon Games for a Monotype Run

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

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

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

The Best and Worst Types for a Monotype Run

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

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

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

Trivia

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

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

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

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

Final Thoughts?

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

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

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

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

 

Donation for Website

If you like my Monotype Run article you can show your appreciation with a small $1 donation. I annually pay fees for the website and I would like to add more features to it such as an easy search filter for Pokemon Teams. Thanks!

$1.00