Choosing a Starter Pokemon: The Johto 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 Gold, Silver, Crystal, HeartGold, and SoulSilver -- Professor Elm offers the player a choice between the following three Started Pokemon:

Chikorita -- a Grass Type whose evolutionary chain consists of Chikorita > Bayleaf > Meganium.

Cyndaquil -- a Fire Type whose evolutionary chain consists of Cyndaquil > Quilava > Typhlosion.

Totodile -- a Water Type whose evolutionary chain consists of Totodile > Croconaw > Feralgatr.

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.

Veteran players who have spent their time catching them all in the previous generation will very likely be remembering that the Water Type Starter in those games had a decided advantage overall (though a disadvantage early on), and in theory that knowledge should present them with an edge in this generation, right? Bzzzz! Wrong!

Bearing in mind that you can choose to go with the Water Type if you want -- remember we started this by pointing out that there is NO wrong choice -- but if you are coming to this generation with the expectation that it is just a repeat of the previous one, you are in for a hard lesson indeed.

The spread of the types in the game and the overall challenges basically mean that the Fire Type -- Cyndaquil -- has a decided advantage here, so if the question you are really asking is which Pokemon Starter will serve as the best and easiest for success, that would be it.

Of course that only really applies to the main generations and not the remakes, because in HeartGold and SoulSilver you have the opportunity to obtain a Johto Starter, a Kanto Starter, and a Hoenn Starter, which means that you can pick and choose to build a very effective team!

One point that should be noted with respect to Starters in SoulSilver and HeartGold... While you cannot really expect to obtain all three of the first set of Starters without having a trading partner, you will pick one, and of course see your rival's choice in battle -- which means you can trade for it via the GTS -- and the second and third sets you have the opportunity to examine all three in each at the time of choosing and you should be certain to do so as that will allow you to trade via GTS for the ones you cannot choose.

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 -