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Best Single Type Runs for Pokemon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum

As I am writing and submitting this blog post, Pokémon Go is releasing Sinnoh Pokémon onto the streets. Now, I love the different generations for one reason or another but Generation 4 seems to have a special place in my heart as that was when I got back into Pokémon after a long hiatus. In particular, Pokémon Platinum ranks as one of my favorite Pokémon games as they took Diamond and Pearl and improved everything about those games making a stellar classic.

But we’re here to determine which types are the best for a Single Type (or Monotype) Run which is a run where you only catch and train one type of Pokémon. And unfortunately, the Sinnoh games are hit or miss. Although more Pokémon are introduced, Diamond and Pearl only have 150 Pokémon available so you get some pretty average runs. Platinum thankfully adds 60 more Pokémon to Sinnoh which makes a lot of types doable or splendid.

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

  1. Only Pokémon of a certain type may be caught and trained.
  2. You must catch the first Pokémon available of that type if your starter does not match that type (you’ll then have to 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. Only Pokémon caught before Elite Four are counted.

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

 

The Best Types

Starting with the top tier I’d say the Water, Poison, Normal, Psychic, and Fighting types are types you should go for due to their commonality, early availability and type coverage. This is the first time in the series where Poison can defend itself against Psychic attacks thanks to Drapion and Stuntank and when you have Roserade, Toxicroak, Crobat, and Tentacruel backing you up you’re in for a good time. Fighting types meanwhile have a near consistent occurrence-rate as you have Chimchar as your starter and then later you got Medicham, Toxicroak, and, of course, Lucario. Water is splendid as usual but this run is unique as you got Empoleon who is incredibly rare and amazing.

Meanwhile, Platinum improves these types further and make Steel, Ground and Flying types entertaining. Steel already has neutral coverage in Diamond and Pearl but I think it becomes actually fun in Platinum as you can catch a Steelix and train a Magnezone. Oh, but Flying and Ground? Perfection. Thanks tooooo Gliscor! Gliscor’s amazing type combo improves both of those types and come-on, it’s Gliscor, they’re the best.

 

The Worst Types

Like routine, Dragon and Ice are types I strongly urge against. Even with Platinum these types suffer due to late game availability (especially Ice), limited selections, and poor coverage. Additionally, if you’re playing Diamond or Pearl, Fire and Electric are pretty abysmal. Sure, you can catch both types early on but there are hardly any of them. Platinum improves their diversity and makes them more doable but it will definitely not be a walk in the park.   Dark types are also rather dismal if your playing Pearl or Platinum as they’re available mid-game at best. Thankfully, in Diamond, you can catch a Murkrow in Eterna Forest after the first gym.

 

Spiritomb

If you already skipped ahead and looked through the list, you may have noticed Spiritomb is missing from the Dark and Ghost type lists. That’s because he’s one of the hardest non-legendary Pokémon to catch. You need to get the Old Keystone, which itself is not too difficult, but you also have to talk to 32 people in the underground. They have to be actual people too and not NPCs! Thankfully, you’ll only need one other person with Diamond/Pearl/Platinum to do it. However, because you need an additional copy of the game in order to get Spiritomb this technically disqualifies Spiritomb based on our rules. Thankfully, Dark type still has neutral coverage thanks to Drapion.

 

Team Combinations

Bug

Ideal Team: Vepiquen, Wormadam (Steel and Ground form), Heracross, Dustox, Mothim/Yanmega (Platinum)/Scyther (Platinum)

Optional Pokémon: Kricketune, Beautifly

First Pokémon: Kricketot via Route 202 before the first gym

Covers Weaknesses? No, Fire not neutralized

 

Dark

Ideal Team: Honchkrow (Diamond), Stuntank (Diamond), Drapion, Weavile, Houndoom (Platinum), Umbreon (Platinum)

Optional Pokémon: Absol (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

 

Dragon

Ideal Team: Garchomp, Dialga (Diamond)/Palkia (Pearl)/Giratina (Platinum), Altaria (Platinum)

First Pokémon: Gible in Wayward Cave. In Diamond and Pearl you need strength which is after the 6th gym. In Platinum, strength is not required and you can catch one after the second gym.

Covers Weaknesses? Only in Diamond thanks to Dialga but in the other two versions, Pearl has a Dragon weakness and Platinum has both a Dragon and Ice weakness

 

Electric

Ideal Team: Luxray, Raichu, Jolteon (Platinum), Rotom (Platinum), Magnezone (Platinum), Electabuzz (Platinum)

Optional Pokémon: Pachirisu

First Pokémon: Shinx in Route 202 before the first gym

Covers Weaknesses? Only in Platinum, in Diamond and Pearl the Ground type is not neutralized.

 

Fairy (technically doesn’t exist yet but if it did…)

Ideal Team: Mr. Mime, Clefable, Azumarill, Gardevoir (Platinum), Togekiss (Platinum)

First Pokémon: Cleffa/Clefairy in Mt Coronet after the second gym

Covers Weaknesses? No, Steel or Poison not covered

 

Fighting

Ideal Team: Infernape, Heracross, Toxicroak, Medicham, Lucario, Gallade (Platinum)

Optional Pokémon: Machoke

First Pokémon: Chimchar via starter

Covers Weaknesses? Yes

 

Fire

Ideal Team: Infernape, Rapidash, Flareon (Platinum), Houndoom (Platinum), Magmar (Platinum)

First Pokémon: Chimchar via starter

Covers Weaknesses? No, Ground and Water not neutralized

 

Flying

Ideal Team: Gyarados, Vespiquen/Yanmega (Platinum), Drifblim, Honchkrow (Diamond), Gliscor (Platinum), Tropius (Platinum)

Optional Pokémon: Staraptor/Noctowl/Chatot/Togekiss (Platinum), Pelipper/Mantine,

First Pokémon: Starly via Route 201

Covers Weaknesses? Only in Platinum, in Diamond and Pearl the Electric and Rock types are not neutralized.

 

Ghost

Ideal Team: Haunter, Drifblim, Dusclops (Platinum)/Mismagius (Diamond), Rotom (Platinum), Froslass (Platinum)

Optional Pokémon: Giratina (Platinum)

First Pokémon: Drifloon on Fridays at the Valley Windworks before the second gym

Covers Weaknesses? No, Ghost and Dark moves are not neutralized

 

Grass

Ideal Team: Torterra, Roserade, Wormadam, Abomasnow, Leafeon (Platinum), Tropius (Platinum)

Optional Pokemon: Carnivine

First Pokémon: Turtwig via starter

Covers Weaknesses? No, Fire and Flying not covered

 

Ground

Ideal Team: Torterra, Hippowdon, Garchomp, Gastrodon/Quagsire/Whiscash, Gliscor (Platinum), Mammoswine (Platinum)

Optional Pokémon: Graveler, Onix, Steelix (Platinum)

First Pokémon: Turtwig via starter

Covers Weaknesses? Yes

 

Ice

Ideal Team: Abomasnow, Weavile, Glaceon (Platinum), Mammoswine (Platinum), Froslass (Platinum), Glalie (Platinum)

First Pokémon: Snover/Sneasel in Diamond and Pearl on Route 216 after the sixth gym or Eevee in Hearthome City in Platinum just before the third gym.

Covers Weaknesses? No, all versions weak to Fire and Steel. Diamond/Pearl additionally weak to Rock and Fighting

 

Normal

Ideal Team: Starraptor/Togekiss (Platinum), Blissey, Snorlax, Girafarig, Ambipom, Lopunny

Optional Pokémon: Bibarel, Purugly (Pearl), Lickilicky (Platinum), Porygon (Platinum)

First Pokémon: Starly and Bidoof in Route 201

Covers Weaknesses? Yes

 

Poison

Ideal Team: Roserade, Crobat, Drapion, Toxicroak, Tentacruel, Dustox

Optional Pokémon: Haunter, Stuntank (Diamond)

First Pokémon: Zubat via Route 203 and 204 and Budew via Route 204 both of which can be caught before the first gym

Covers Weaknesses? Yes

 

Psychic

Ideal Team: Mr. Mime/Gardevoir (Platinum), Bronzong, Medicham/Gallade (Platinum), Kadabra, Girafarig, Espeon (Platinum)

Optional Pokémon: Chimecho

First Pokémon: Abra via Route 203 before the first gym

Covers Weaknesses? Yes

 

Rock

Ideal Team: Graveler, Onix, Rampardos (Diamond and Platinum), Bastiodon (Pearl and Platinum)/Probopass (Platinum), Sudowoodo, Rhydon (Platinum)

First Pokémon: Geodude either Oreburgh Gate or Ravaged Path before the first gym

Covers Weaknesses? No, in all versions Water, Ground and Fighting moves are not neutralized. In Diamond, the Rock type is additionally weak to Grass and Steel moves.

 

Steel

Ideal Team: Empoleon, Bastiodon (Pearl and Platinum)/Probopass (Platinum), Bronzong, Lucario, Steelix (Platinum), Magnezone (Platinum)

Optional Pokémon: Dialga (Diamond)

First Pokémon: Piplup via starter

Covers Weaknesses? Yes, provided you get a Bronzong that has the Levitate Ability.

 

Water

Ideal Team: Empoleon, Quagsire/Whiscash/Gastrodon, Gyarados/Mantine, Tentacruel, Octillery, Vaporeon (Platinum)

Optional Pokémon: Golduck, Milotic, Octillery, Azumarill, Floatzel, Lumineon, Palkia (Platinum)

First Pokémon: Piplup via Starter

Covers Weaknesses? Yes

Best Types for a Single Type Run in Pokemon Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, and ORAS

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

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

  1. Only Pokémon of a certain type may be caught and trained.
  2. You must catch the first Pokémon available of that type if your starter does not match that type (you’ll then have to 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.

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

The Best Types

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

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

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

 

The Worst Types

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

 

Team Combinations

Bug

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

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

First Pokémon: Wurmple via Route 101

Covers Weaknesses? Yes

 

Dark

Ideal Team: Mightyena, Crawdaunt/Sharpedo, Sabeleye (S, E, AS), Honchkrow (ORAS), Krookodile (ORAS), Drapion (ORAS), Hydreigon (ORAS)

Optional Pokémon: Absol, Shiftry (R, E, OR)/Cacturne, Umbreon (ORAS), Zoroark (ORAS), Mega-Gyarados (ORAS)

First Pokémon: Poochyena via Route 101

Covers Weaknesses? Yes for all versions except Pokemon Ruby.

 

Dragon

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

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

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

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

 

Electric

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

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

First Pokémon: Electrike, Plusle, and Minun can be caught at Route 110 after the second gym.

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

 

Fairy (ORAS only)

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

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

First Pokémon: Ralts via Route 102 before the first gym

Covers Weaknesses? Yes

 

Fighting

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

Optional Pokémon: Machoke, Hariyama

First Pokémon: Torchic via starter

Covers Weaknesses? No, Flying is not neutralized.

 

Fire

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

Optional Pokémon: Torkoal, Flareon (ORAS), Magmar (ORAS)

First Pokémon: Torchic via starter

Covers Weaknesses? No, Water and Ground not neutralized.

 

Flying

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

Optional Pokémon: Beautifly, Masquerain (R, S, ORAS), Pelipper, Crobat, Altaria, Tropius, Honchkrow (ORAS), Drifblim (ORAS), Togekiss (ORAS), Mega-Pinsir (ORAS)

First Pokémon: Wurmple via Route 101

Covers Weaknesses? Yes

 

Ghost

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

Optional Pokémon: Banette, Dusclops, Cofagrius (ORAS)

First Pokémon: Nincada in Route 116 before the first gym

Covers Weaknesses? Yes for Sapphire, Emerald, and AlphaSapphire, in other versions Ghost and Dark are not neutralized

 

Grass

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

Optional Pokemon: Tropius, Trevanant (ORAS), Leafeon (ORAS), Sawsbuck (ORAS), Whimsicott (ORAS)

First Pokémon: Treecko via starter

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

 

Ground

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

Optional Pokémon: Graveler, Donphan, Claydol, Whiscash/Seismitoad (ORAS)

First Pokémon: Mudkip via starter

Covers Weaknesses? Yes

 

Ice

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

First Pokémon: Snorunt via Shoal Cave

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

 

Normal

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

Optional Pokémon: Linoone, Kecleon, Zangoose (R, OR), Sawsbuck (ORAS), Porygon (ORAS)

First Pokémon: Zigzagoon in Route 101

Covers Weaknesses? Yes

 

Poison

Ideal Team: Dustox, Crobat, Tentacruel, Vileplume, Dragalge, Drapion (ORAS)

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

First Pokémon: Wurmple via Route 101

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

 

Psychic

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

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

First Pokémon: Ralts via Route 102 before the first gym

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

 

Rock

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

Optional Pokémon: Graveler, Cradily

First Pokémon: Geodude and Aron via Granite Cave shortly before the second gym

Covers Weaknesses? Yes

 

Steel

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

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

First Pokémon: Aron via Granite Cave shortly before the second gym

Covers Weaknesses? Yes

 

Water

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

Optional Pokémon: Pelipper, Azumaril, Milotic, Whiscash, Relicanth, Walrein, Wailord, Vaporeon (ORAS), Jellicent (ORAS)

First Pokémon: Mudkip via starter

Covers Weaknesses? Yes

 

Episode 5: Lostalgia-“Give Yourself Magination Goosebumps”

In this episode, we explore our lostalgia, nostalgia over media that hasn’t been popular since it debut.  Mary talks about “Magination,” the Gameboy Color game while Andy talks about the Goosebumps spin-off series “Give Yourself Goosebumps.”  We gush about why we love our respective nostalgia and the probable reasons why they haven’t been popular since they debuted.

Best Types for a Single Type Run in Pokemon Red, Blue, Yellow, FireRed, and LeafGreen

With the quasi-remake of Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow, “Pokémon Let’s Go!,” coming out this year I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to write another Single Type Run article.  As mentioned before, a Single Type (or Monotype) Run in Pokémon is a playthrough where you only train a certain Pokémon type.  And boy howdy the Kanto games are probably the most difficult and/or frustrating games in the main series for a Single Type Run.  A low diversity and a low amount of available Pokémon make some types almost unplayable.  But there’s still some good ones out there so let’s take a look!

As usual, in a Single Type Run you can only train Pokémon of a certain type, if a starter is not your chosen type you must capture the first available Pokémon of that type as soon as possible.  You may train a Pokémon that does not belong to that type provided you evolve it to that type asap.  Finally, we’re only counting Pokémon catchable before the Elite Four with no trading allowed.  Check out the chart below for more information on other games.

Pokemon, Pokemon Single Type Run, Single Type Run, Single Type

Best Types

Pic from Bulbapedia

The Normal type had its heyday in Generation 1.  Iconic Pokémon like Snorlax, Jigglypuff, and Tauros are all found in these games.  Of course, you have Normal Pokémon available immediately at Route 1 like Rattata and Pidgey so right away you have yourself a team (good luck with Brock, though!).  What’s more, you have a plethora of Flying/Normal Pokémon like Pidgeot, Dodrio, and Spearow that can protect you from fighters.  Normal Pokémon can also learn a diverse array of special moves so you can teach them the likes of Surf, Ice Beam, and Thunderbolt to take down any foe that stands in your way.

From Normal, we quickly fall into a range of types that range from pretty decent to meh.  There are tons of Water, Flying, and Poison Pokémon with great move diversity but watch out for their weaknesses.  Zapdos makes an Electric type run interesting but be prepared for low movepool diversity.  If you’re patient, you can catch a Geodude at Mount Moon and do a Rock type run.  The Rock type actually has all its weaknesses covered thanks to the fossil Pokémon but you won’t be playing with a full unique team.  And speaking of Geodude, a Ground type run would be another decent run thanks to the Nidorans being available fairly early on (just watch out for Water moves!).

Worst Types

Pic from Bulbapedia

It may not be a shock to you but Dragon, Ghost, and Ice types are just a generally bad idea all together.  There’s only one Ghost and Dragon family and they’re available mid and late game respectively (plus you would only be dealing with a Haunter if you didn’t trade).  Ice types are a little better as there are some decent Ice Pokémon but they’re available at best mid-game.  And God forbid you decide to do a Steel or Dark type run for FireRed and LeafGreen.  The only Steel type would be the Magnemite line (catchable after you can surf) and Gamefreak decided, for some reason, you couldn’t evolve an Eevee into an Umbreon so there’s no way you can catch and train a Dark type at all.

Team Combinations

Bug

Ideal Team: Parasect, Venomoth, Scyther (Red, FireRed, Yellow)/Pinsir (Blue, Leafgreen, Yellow), Butterfree, Beedrill (all versions except Yellow)

First available Pokémon: Caterpie and/or Weedle (except Yellow) via Viridian Forest.

Cover weaknesses?  No, Flying, Fire, and Rock not neutralized.

 

Dark

lol

 

Dragon

Ideal Team: Dragonite

First available Pokémon: Dratini via Safari Zone

Covers weaknesses?  No, Ice and Dragon not covered

 

Electric

Ideal Team: Raichu/Pikachu, Electrode, Electabuzz (Red, FireRed), Magneton, Jolteon, Zapdos

First available Pokémon: Pikachu in Viridian Forest or Pikachu as a starter in Yellow

Covers weaknesses?  Yes

 

Fairy

Ideal Team: Wigglytuff, Clefable, Mr. Mime

First available Pokémon: Jigglypuff right before Mount Moon.

Covers weaknesses? No, Poison or Steel are not neutralized

 

Fighting

Ideal Team: Machoke, Hitmonlee/Hitmonchan, Primeape (Red, Yellow, FireRed), Poliwrath

First available Pokémon: Mankey via Route 5, after the second gym

Covers weaknesses? No, Flying or Psychic not neutralized.

 

Fire

Ideal Team: Charizard, Arcanine (Red, FireRed, Yellow)/Ninetales (Blue, LeafGreen, Yellow), Magmar (Blue, LeafGreen), Flareon, Rapidash, Moltres

First available Pokémon: Charmander via starter or via Route 24 after Mt. Moon in Yellow.

Covers weaknesses? No, Rock or Water not neutralized.

 

Flying

Ideal Team: Charizard, Dragonite, Aerodactyl, Gyarados, Zapdos, Articuno

Optional Pokémon: Pidgeot, Fearow, Dodrio, Scyther (Red, FireRed, Yellow)

First available Pokémon: Charmander via starter or Pidgey (Yellow) via Route 1.

Covers weaknesses? No, Rock is not covered.

 

Ghost

Ideal Team: Haunter

First available Pokémon: Gastly at Lavender Tower

Covers weaknesses? No, Ghost (and for that matter Psychic and Ground) are not covered

 

Grass

Ideal Team: Venusaur, Exeggutor, Vileplume (Red, FireRed, Yellow), Victreebel (Blue, LeafGreen, Yellow), Parasect, Tangela

First available Pokémon: Bulbasaur via starter or Paras via Mt. Moon in Yellow

Covers weaknesses? No, Flying, Ice, or Fire not neutralized.

 

Ground

Ideal Team: Nidoking, Nidoqueen, Rhydon, Onix, Dugtrio, Sandslash (Blue, LeafGreen, and Yellow)

Optional Pokémon: Graveler (or Golem if you can evolve it)

First available Pokémon: Nidorans in Route 22

Covers weaknesses? No, Water and Ice are not neutralized.

 

Ice

Ideal Team: Lapras, Articuno, Dewgong, Jynx (all versions except Yellow), Cloyster

First available Pokémon: Shellder via the Super Rod (from Route 12 from a fisherman), attainable after you complete Lavender Tower and move the Snorlax.  Shellder can be fished in various areas of Kanto.

Covers weaknesses? No, Rock is not neutralized.

 

Normal

Ideal Team: Snorlax, Tauros, Clefable, Pidgeot, Chansey, Wigglytuff

Optional Pokémon: Porygon, Fearow, Dodrio

First available Pokémon: Pidgey and Rattata in Route 1

Covers weaknesses? Yes!

 

Poison

Ideal Team: Venomoth, Golbat, Venusaur, Nidoking, Nidoqueen, Tentacruel

Optional Pokémon: Vileplume (Red, FireRed, Yellow), Victreebel (Blue, LeafGreen, Yellow), Haunter, Weezing (all versions except Yellow), Arbok (Red, FireRed)

First available Pokémon: Bulbasaur via starter or Nidorans via Route 22 in Yellow

Covers weaknesses? No, Psychic not neutralized.

 

Psychic

Ideal Team: Kadabra, Mr. Mime, Exeggutor, Jynx (all versions except Yellow), Starmie, Slowbro

First available Pokémon: Abra via Route 24 after Mount Moon.

Covers weaknesses? No, Bug and Ghost are not neutralized.

 

Rock

Ideal Team: Graveler, Rhydon, Onix, Aerodactyl, Omastar/Kabutops

First available Pokémon: Geodude at Mount Moon

Covers weaknesses? Surprisingly, yes.

 

Steel

Ideal Team: Magneton

First available Pokémon: Magnemite via Power Plant through surfing (need the Soul Badge)

Covers weaknesses? No, Ground, Fighting, and Fire not neutralized.

 

Water

Ideal Team: Blastoise, Slowbro, Poliwrath, Lapras, Tentacruel, Vaporeon

Optional Pokémon: Starmie, Gyrados, 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.

 

 

 

 

Best Types for a Single Type Run in Pokemon Gold, Silver, Crystal, HG, and SS

Pokémon Gold and Silver remains one of the top rated and favorite games in the Pokémon franchise for fans all around. Their popularity was heavily boosted with Heartgold and Soulsilver which, at the time, modernized the games and brought with it Pokémon that could follow you wherever you go. And now, with the rerelease of Pokémon Gold and Silver on the Virtual Console, I thought it was time to revisit these games but this time ask the crucial question, what are the best types for a Single Type (or Monotype) Run? This article will be similar to my previous two articles on the subject matter so feel free to check those out for more information. As usual, a Single Type Run is a run that involves no trading, only trains Pokémon of a certain type, and is completed when you beat the Champion (or in our case the first Elite Four). Since Heartgold and Soulsilver are very similar to their original counterparts (minus the Pokewalker) they’ll be included as well.

Also check out a similar article on best Single Type Runs for Pokemon Red, Blue, Yellow, FireRed, and LeafGreen!

Best Types

Image from bulbapedia

Generation 2 has an advantage over its predecessor as it’s building off of most of the original 150 Pokémon with the addition of a 100 new Pokémon that bring more type diversity. As such, there are a lot more fun runs to choose in these games compared to Red, Blue, Yellow, FireRed, and LeafGreen. The best type for a Single Type Run is probably the Water type. A huge diversity of Water Pokémon available throughout the game makes this a fun type to play as there are many different team combinations. Most notably, this generation introduced Quagsire which neutralizes Water’s weakness to Electricity and can be caught after the first gym. The Flying type is probably the second best as you can catch about ten different type combinations and there’s a new catchable, Flying Pokémon after each gym battle. Other types do very well including Ground, Bug, Normal, Poison, and, if you are generous, Grass and Rock. Check out a list of team combinations below.

Worst Types

Image from bulbapedia

The usual suspects for a bad Single Type Run are found here namely Dragon and Ice. Dragon’s especially bad as you can only catch a Dratini after the final gym and you can’t get a Kingdra unless you trade for one. Ice is very funky though as although the weaknesses are neutralized regardless of the game, the first Ice Pokémon you can catch is the Union Cave Lapras after you get the Surf HM (which is activated after the 4th gym). So you’ll be playing awhile without any Ice Pokémon. Ghost is also not that swell as despite Gastly’s pre-first gym availability, the next Ghost Pokémon you can catch is Misdrevous at Mount Silver, so basically at the end of the game!

Since Gold and Silver introduced Dark and Steel it’s no surprise that there is a rather low and late diversity of them in these games. You have some pretty big handicaps as Steelix and Scizor are basically off the table unless you have a trading partner. Then there’s poor Dark as many of the famous Dark Pokémon (Houndoom, Tyranitar, and Sneasel) are available after you beat the Elite Four.  Although once you finally catch that Murkrow, you won’t have to worry about Fighting and Bug attacks!

Pokewalker

Before I list Type Team Combinations, I should talk about the Pokewalker. As mentioned before, HG and SS are basically the same game as Gold and Silver with some tweaks, graphics update, and other gameplay features which doesn’t affect a route’s Pokémon. But the Pokewalker, God bless this device, makes it so you can catch some Pokémon as early as the first route. Sure, you might have to do a lot of walking but it will be worth it! The Pokewalker makes it so you can catch Electric, Steel, Psychic, Fighting, Dark, Ice, and even Dragon Pokémon right from the get-go! All these Pokémon are Pokémon you can still catch before the Elite Four so you won’t change your team diversity but at least you can get them earlier. This means you can do a feasible Ice type Run as you can catch a Shelldar and a Smoochum fairly early on. If you still have your Pokewalker, give HG and SS a go because a lot of types become more fun for a Single Type Run. I’ll make special mention of the types that are affected by the Pokewalker below.

Team Combinations

Bug

Ideal Team: Heracross, Venomoth, Shuckle, Parasect, Scyther/Yanmega, Forretress

First Pokémon: Caterpie (G, C, HG)/Weedle (S, C, SS)/Ledyba (S, C, SS)/Spinarak (G, C, HG) in Route 30 before the first gym. Venonat and Paras via Pokewalker.

Covers Weaknesses? Yes

Dark

Ideal Team: Murkrow, Umbreon

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

Dragon

Ideal Team: Dragonite

First Pokémon: Dratini via Dragon Den after the eighth gym or bought at the Goldenrod Game Corner after the second gym (or by Pokewalker).

Covers Weaknesses? No

Electric

Ideal Team: Raikou, Ampharos (G, S, HG, SS), Magneton, Lanturn, Electrode, Jolteon

First Pokémon: Mareep via Route 32 after first gym (except Crystal which would be Magnemite Route 38 after the second gym) or Magnemite, Elekid, and Voltorb via Pokewalker.

Covers Weaknesses? No, Ground is not neutralized.

Fighting

Ideal Team: Primeape (C, G, HG)/Machoke, Poliwrath, Heracross, Hitmontop, Hitmonchan, Hitmonlee

First Pokémon: Heracross via headbutting trees after the second gym, Poliwag in Crystal via Route 30 before the first gym, or Machop via Pokewalker.

Covers Weaknesses? Psychic and Flying not neutralized.

Fire

Ideal Team: Typhlosion, Magmar, Ninetales (S, SS)/Arcanine (G, C, HG), Flareon, Rapidash, Ho-Oh (G, HG)

First Pokémon: Cyndaquil via starter

Covers Weaknesses? No; Rock, Water, and Ground (besides Ho-Oh) are not covered

Flying

Ideal Team: Gyarados, Dragonite, Gligar/Gliscor (G, C, HG)/Skarmory (S, C, SS), Murkrow/Honchkrow, Jumpluff, Xatu

Optional Pokémon: Dodrio, Pidgeot, Spearow, Mantine (G, C, HG), Crobat, Yanma/Yanmega, Scyther

First Pokémon: Pidgey and Hoothoot via Route 29 before the first gym. Pidgey, Doduo, Spearow, Hoothoot, Murkrow, Zubat, and Dratini available via Pokewalker.

Covers Weaknesses? Yes, regardless of your version

Ghost

Ideal Team: Haunter

First Pokémon: Gastly via Sprout Tower (or at night at Route 30 in Pokémon Crystal) before the first gym; Gastly can also be caught on the Pokewalker.

Covers Weaknesses? No, Ghost and Dark not neutralized

Grass

Ideal Team: Meganium, Jumpluff, Victreebel/Vileplume, Exeggutor, Parasect, Tangela/Tangrowth

First Pokémon: Chikorita via starter

Covers Weaknesses? No, Flying, Ice, and Fire are not neutralized.

Ground

Ideal Team: Quagsire, Dugtrio, Rhydon, Nidoking, Nidoqueen, Mammoswine/Piloswine, Gligar/Gliscor (G, C, HG)

Optional Pokémon: Graveler, Onix, Donphan (G, C, HG), Sandslash (G, C, HG or by slotmachines in S and SS)

First Pokémon: Geodude, via the southern route of Route 46 before the first gym or Geodude, Onix, the Nidorans, and Wooper via Pokewalker.

Covers Weaknesses? Regardless of your version, all weaknesses are covered

Ice

Ideal Team: Piloswine/Mammoswine, Lapras, Dewgong, Cloyster, Jynx, Delibird (S, C, SS)

First Pokémon: Lapras in Union Cave after the fourth gym or Smoochum and Shelldar in Pokewalker

Covers Weaknesses? Surprisingly yes

Normal

Ideal Team: Pidgeot, Stantler, Dodrio, Girafarig, Miltank, Tauros

Optional Pokémon: Urasaring (S, C, SS), Fearow, Noctowl, Kangaskhan (via Pokewalker), Lickitung, Ambipom (HG, SS), Persian

First Pokémon: Pidgey, Rattata, Sentret, and Hoothoot via Route 29 before the first gym. Kangaskhan, Doduo, and Spearow via Pokewalker.

Covers Weaknesses? Yes

Poison

Ideal Team: Haunter, Venomoth, Tentacruel, Victreebel/Vileplume, Crobat, Nidoking/Nidoqueen

Optional Pokémon: Muk, Weezing, Arbok, Ariados (G, C, HG)

First Pokémon: Weedle (S, C, SS) or Spinarak (G, C, HG) in Route 30. You can also get Grimer, Koffing, Tentacool, Gastly, Zubat, Venonat, Oddish, and the Nidorans on the Pokewalker.

Covers Weaknesses? No, Psychic is not neutralized.

Psychic

Ideal Team: Espeon, Exeggutor, Girafarig, Xatu, Jynx, Starmie/Slowbro

Optional Pokémon: Lugia (S and SS), Kadabra, Hypno, Wobbufett

First Pokémon: Slowpoke at the Slowpoke Well before the second gym. Abra, Wobbufett, Slowpoke, Smoochum, and Staryu via Pokewalker.

Covers Weaknesses? No, Dark is not neutralized

Rock

Ideal Team: Graveler, Rhydon, Shuckle, Sudowoodo, Corsola, Onix

First Pokémon: Geodude via southern portion of Route 46 before the first gym, or Geodude and Onix via Pokewalker.

Covers Weaknesses? Yes

Steel

Ideal Team: Magneton, Forretress, Skarmory (S, C, SS)

First Pokémon: Pineco via headbutting trees after the second gym or Magnemite via Pokewalker.

Covers Weaknesses? No, Fire is not neutralized

Water

Ideal Team: Feraligatr, Gyarados, Quagsire, Slowbro/Starmie, Tentacruel, Lanturn

Optional Pokémon: Lapras/Dewgong/Cloyster, Vaporeon, Seaking, Golduck, Azumarill, Kingler, Corsola, Poliwrath, Octillery (S, G, HG, SS), Mantine (G, C, HG)

First Pokémon: Totodile via starter

Covers Weaknesses? Yes

Console Wars: 2 Good 2 Be True

For over a dozen years, I’ve been looking for a good book about video games. For such an influential media, it’s surprising that there are very few books that dive into this topic that are seriously good. When I heard about Console Wars, I knew I had to check it out and I finally did this summer.

Console Wars focuses on one of the most exciting years in video game history, namely, the war between the Sega Genesis and the Super Nintendo. And rather than being a standard nonfiction book (dry and full of references and quotes), author Blake Harris crafts a novel that’s more story than essay yet does not lose the flavor of reality. His book throws you into the early nineties and drops you into the heated moments and settings that shaped the era of videogames. The author’s love and enthusiasm for video games really comes through in this novel and as such, I had a hard time putting this book down.

One of the first things you’ll notice about Console Wars is how big it is. This book is dense but thankfully, does not overload the reader. Even though I knew a lot about video game history, mainly thanks to the internet, before reading this novel, I was surprised at just how little I actually knew, and that was great!

Some of my favorite moments in the book are those that seem like they’re straight out of a movie. I particularly liked the scene involving the recording of the infamous “SEGA!” scream used in commercials. Then there’s the part where the Sega employees were inspired to do a worldwide release of Sonic and Tails on Sonic 2sday. It’s moments like these that really help the book come together nicely.

Now truthfully, this doesn’t mean Console Wars is perfect. There are some problems I have which fortunately didn’t dampen my love for this book. One of which was the many characters. Although the photo section was helpful, I wish there was a simple group shot of the Sega team as I kept losing track of who was who. The biggest problem I had however was one of the big conflicts in the book; the Sega of America vs. Sega of Japan conflict was mainly from the Sega of America point of view. This, unfortunately, paints Sega of Japan as mean, subversive, and unpredictable. I wish we got more scenes from their point of view to understand exactly why there was so conflict between the two. Same thing can be applied to Nintendo as well. Nintendo in this book was like the antagonist in an action movie; we would get scenes of them every now and then and peek into their diabolical plans for their plucky foe. I wish we could see more of them to really help us understand what they were thinking.

But the thing is, that’s not really the point of the book, the point of the book is how Sega, through Tom Kalinske, president and CEO of Sega of America, was able to bring Nintendo to its knees and really shape the video game market. As such, “Console Wars” as a title is a bit off and perhaps a better title would be “the Rise and Fall of Sega” (but then it wouldn’t be catchy).

On another note, I’m pretty sure Blake Harris is a fan of the Angry Video Game Nerd. There are several spots in this book that seem a lot like what AVGN has said before. The casual reference to the porno Atari game, Custer’s Revenge, was too on the nose as nobody knew about this game until after AVGN did an episode on it. Even more obvious was the reference to LJN’s bad video games, I mean, that’s one of AVGN’s gimmicks! He hates LJN games! But I love it and I find it funny to think that Blake is a fan of the Nerd.

I was sad when the novel eventually finished as I would have liked to see the battle between the N64, Playstation, and eventually the Sega Saturn. However, part of me is glad that Blake did not talk about that. This is the story of Tom Kalinske and how he turned Sega from a joke to a star. That era of video games was not under his jurisdiction. As such, Blake Harris should seriously consider writing another novel on video games (whether it be nonfiction or fiction) as his love for the material is fantastic. Perhaps a book about Nintendo’s comeback via the Wii? Or on the Atari era and why it eventually collapsed? Or even why the Playstation 2 was such a huge success? All of these are great topics.

And yet, nothing can ever hold a candle to the Console Wars of the early 90s. So much was happening at that time that it almost seems unreal. New video game franchises were born, records were broken, the media boundaries were pushed, and deep rivalries formed.  I doubt there will ever be a time just like the early 90s for video games.

As for me, I’m glad I was finally able to read a book about video games. Thank you Blake, you kept me up late many times.

This could work: an Anime Adaptation of 999

Here’s a fun fact for you, did you know that the creators of Danganronpa and Zero Escape are friends? I’m not honestly surprised and in fact, I find that enduring, given the creators perchance for making dark video games with diabolic and white, cuddly characters. Although I have not yet played Danganronpa (mainly through lack of specific hardware) I have seen the anime and it’s quite good in all honesty. After seeing the anime, I really want to play the game even though I know the ending to it.

Video game adaptations to the small screen can be hit or miss but can be done right and even extremely well. In particular, the visual novel genre seems to hit a particular easy-adaptation and well-produced stride among other video games. It’s not surprising given how there is already a well-thought out story immersed with fleshed-out characters and plot twists galore. A simple elimination of the minimal player interaction combined with a full anime budget and you got yourself a decent miniseries on hand. Ace Attorney has finally gotten its own anime adaptation and I’m hoping that Professor Layton will follow suit soon. As such, why hasn’t Nine Hours, Nine Persons, and Nine Doors (or “999”) gotten its own anime adaptation yet? I honestly think it will adapt quite well.

I think 999’s biggest problem is the branching storyline that is absolutely essential to the game. 999’s alternate histories and complex plot could easily confuse new viewers who may lose focus even for a moment. What’s more, 999’s, and its sequel, loves thought experiments and hypothetical situations, which take time to explain and may further confuse a person who would question why these are here in the first place.

Before I offer suggestions how this could be resolved, let’s look at another visual novel-adapted anime that also has branching storylines, Umineko: When They Cry.

Umineko focuses on an extended family that visits their island after the head of the household dies. The greedy family wants to know who inherited what in the will of their now deceased father/grandfather. What follows are a series of supernatural events where many deaths occur and many alternate histories are explored.

What made Umineko easy to follow was how the main character was aware of these alternate storylines. Through him, he can remind us how things happened and how he was going to change them. What’s more, the anime made watching easy for the viewer and sped up certain already-seen events while establishing who was alive and when. In the end of the first season, we are left with a cliff hanger but we are not confused thanks to the excellent plot development.

The anime adaptation of 999 should follow a similar tract. Some events, mainly those at the beginning of the game, are ones that we will witness over and over again. A simple reminder of what happened and when will help orient the viewers of where they are in the timeline and what puzzle rooms have been solved. What’s more, Junpei’s ability to jump timelines should be more heavily explored near the beginning of the anime so the viewer is not confused why events are happening differently this time. The thought experiments, which are very dialogue heavy, is probably the trickiest part of 999 to adapt as the original flavor of the game would be lost if these aren’t included. I honestly think these can be done though given the right circumstances. If other, thought-provoking anime shows, like Death Note, are not afraid to be complex and not talk-down to the audience, then 999 shouldn’t be afraid either.

If you wanted to be poetic, the anime could be produced into nine episodes. I’m not honestly sure if that would be feasible or not but given the circumstances, it’s possible.

With the final Zero Escape game coming out this summer, I would welcome the possibility of a complete anime adaptation of this series but I stress that an anime adaptation of Virtue’s Last Reward would likely be insane. 999 had only five separate endings whereas Virtue’s Last Reward had over 20! True, you probably wouldn’t have to explore every single damn ending (quite a few of them aren’t necessary), but the amount of timeline jumping in that game is craaaaazy. The game had a helpful timeline chart you could look at but I bet the anime wouldn’t have it as easy as that.

I think the best course of action is just to stick to 999 as that game is more concise compared to its sequel. Video games are a form of art and sometimes, just like from books to movies, you can’t do the original media justice when you transform the source into something else. And maybe an anime adaptation of 999 will fall to pieces because of which. You just can’t adapt the player interaction into an anime. But hey, it could work.