Choosing a Starter Pokemon: The Kanto Region

In the world of Pokemon every young boy or girl starts out more or less equal -- that is to say without a Pokemon and about to set out on their great adventure. The first step on that journey is the selection of their first -- or starter -- Pokemon.

The Starter Pokemon come in three basic types -- Fire, Water, and Grass Types -- and when the new trainer receives them they are already leveled to Level 5, having one damage-dealing move, and one stat-changing move.

The trainer is offered their choice of one of the three Poke Balls by the Professor -- no matter which one they choose though, their rival will choose the other that has a type advantage against it, which slightly increases their chance, should the player make a mistake in their first battle with their rival, of them claiming an early victory.

In the Kanto Region -- home to the games Pokemon Red, Blue, Green, FireRed and LeafGreen -- Professor Oak offers the player a choice between the following three Started Pokemon:

Bulbasaur -- A Grass/Poison Type whose evolutionary chain consists of Bulbasaur >L16> Ivysaur >L32> Venusaur.

Charmander -- a Fire Type whose evolutionary chain consists of Charmander >L16> Charmeleon >L36> Charizard (it should be noted that the first two forms are Fire Type while the third and final form, Charmeleon, is a Fire/Flying Type.).

Squirtle -- a Water Type whose evolutionary chain consists of Squirtle >L16> Wartortle >L36> Blastoise.

Note that there is actually an exception to the above list of Starters -- if you happen to be playing Pokemon Yellow (which is also in this Region) your starter is actually Pikachu, it being a celebration of the story of Ash and faithful to the TV show.

Before we get to the significant benefits and drawbacks to each we should examine their value to you as their trainer...

The Enduring Starter

For the vast majority of trainers the Pokemon that they choose as their starter has far more significance and value to them than simply being the first Pokemon that they use to capture their next Pokemon!

In fact it is estimated that around 90% of the players who are fans of the game tend to retain their Starter and use and evolve them as their main Pokemon and Team Leader for the entire adventure.

As noted above though, that first Pokemon is the key to the long chain of additional Pokemon that the player will encounter, battle, capture, and collect.

While the vast majority of the Pokemon you capture in the wild will end up residing in a Pokemon Storage Box in the Pokemon Center Network -- at least until you have become the League Champion and finally turn to the lengthy and challenging task of evolving and training them in order to complete your Pokedex -- your starter is very likely to be your best friend and preferred go-to Pokemon for the more important battles, when their type suits!

Choosing Your Starter

The first thing you need to focus upon is the following fact: There is NO wrong choices.

No matter what Starter you choose, you did not make the wrong choice. Perhaps you did not make the best choice, but to know that you have to know what the right choice should be for you. That may sound confusing at first, but once you understand the basic strategy for choosing your Starter it will all make sense. So let's explore that strategy now, shall we?

One more issue you need to consider before you start the process of making your choice is that if you are playing in the Kanto of FireRed or LeafGreen the Start that you pick ALSO dictates which of the wandering Legendary you will encounter later in the game:

Trainers who choose Bulbasaur will find Entei. while those who choose Squirtle will find Raikou. If Fire Type is your choice you will choose Charmander, which means that you will find Suicune.

That is an important consideration if you do not have trading partners or multiple games and consoles; so if you desire a specific Legendary from the Trio that is going to force your decision.

It bears repeating that your rival will be choosing whichever Pokemon is strong against the type you chose, and you should also remember that the choice is not a dead-end stree since you will be able to build your team from there with complimentary types to your Starter Pokemon.

If you plan to have your Started be the lead in your team and do all of the heavy lifting throughout the entire adventure, then Fire and Water Types may be the best choice for you, because while the Grass Type (well, Grass/Poison Type really) does have the advantage of being strong against the first two Gyms battles, overall it is at a slight disadvantage for the rest of the game.

If you chose the Grass/Poison Bulbasaur as long as you train it properly and level your team evenly -- and have supporting types for the disadvantaged battles -- you will still find your path easy enough.

The Fire Type will be at a decided disadvantage for the first two Gyms (Brock and Misty are the Gym Leaders, and they are Rock and Water respectively), but thereafter becomes a force to be reckoned with.

Finally we come to Squirtle, who is obviously at a disadvantage when it comes to battle in the Water Type Gym, but as hard as this may be to believe, when you track the battles throughout the entire adventure you find that of the trio, Squirtle has a slightly higher advantage.

When you stop to consider that Squirtle has several additional advantages -- like it learns more type-specific moves than the others, and that it can learn Dig and Surf, as well as MegaPunch (something that the other two cannot do) and its advantages should be obvious.

So which Starter do you choose? Well, going by the results, Squirtle would be the obvious choice, but the sweet thing is that if a Turtle is not your thing, you can still choose the one you like best!

For more info on starters and help completing your Pokemon game, check some of our free online strategy guides:

Pokemon Black -

Pokemon Black 2 -

Pokemon Diamond -

Pokemon Emerald -

Pokemon FireRed -

Pokemon HeartGold-

Pokemon Platinum -

Pokemon SoulSilver-

Pokemon White -

Pokemon X -

Pokemon Y -

Posted: 6th Dec 2013 by CMBF
Kanto Starters, Pokemon Red, Blue, Green, FireRed and LeafGreen