Choosing a Starter Pokemon: The Unova 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 Unova Region after the player chooses their Starter and their rival (well, not really rival in this case, as you are setting out on your adventure in the differing company of two mates) picks the one with the type advantage versus it, and your other mate chooses the one that remains.

The Starter is not simply your first Pokemon, but the Pokemon that will lead to collecting all of the other Pokemon that will eventually make up your team when you use it to capture your first wild one. So really everything begins with your Starter Pokemon.

In the Unova Region -- home to the games Pokemon Black and White and Black 2 and White 2 -- Professor Juniper offers the player a choice between the following three Started Pokemon:

Oshawott -- a Water Type whose evolutionary chain consists of Oshawott > Dewott . Samurott.

Snivy -- a Grass Type whose evolutionary chain consists of Snivy > Servine > Serperior.

Tepig -- a Fire Type whose evolutionary chain consists of Tepig > Pignite > Emboar.

Unlike previous games in the series there is a specific catch involved in the choosing of your Starter in the Unova Region -- that being the fact that your choice of Starter has a direct effect upon which Gym Leader you will face upon arriving in Striation City.

Choosing Snivy will result in your facing Gym Leader Chili, who is a Fire-Type specialist; choosing Tepig as your Starter pits you against Gym Leader Cress, who is a Water-Type specialist; finally should you choose Oshawott as your Starter you will face off against Gym Leader Cilan, who is a Grass-Type battler.

In addition to that and to further complicate the issue, the choice also impacts which of the special Pokemon that the player will receive in the Dreamyard. Snivy results in receiving a Panpour, Tepig gets a Pansage and Oshawott a Pansear.

Thus you are already faced with issues that complicate your choice even before you start to consider the relative merits for each of the three!

Which you choose will end up being an important matter not simply due to their abilities and the above effects in the game, but also due to the nature of the Starter Pokemon and its impact in your game and on your team, which we now cover...

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 choice.

Due to the complications of the various consequences for the Starter you choose, a lot is going to depend upon which of the Dreamyard Pokemon you actually prefer to obtain. With that in mind, the standard considerations do apply:

Oshawott is the balanced choice, having about equal levels for defense and attack, making it the middle-of-the-road Starter.

Tepig presents a weaker defensive play but as it has a fairly strong attack it is best suited for the more aggressive play style.

Snivy has good defensive capabilities which means it fits in well as the Starter for players who prefer to fight a longer and more defensive battle.

While many of the previous titles in the series offered a much clearer choice, sadly none of the choices in Unova provide that sort of clear weighing of benefits. In fact it might be said that the Starters for Unova are rather mediocre when it comes to that.

Fortunately that makes choosing your Starter quite a bit easier since you can simply rely upon picking the one that corresponds to the Pokemon you want most from the Dreamyard and then relying upon building a solid team to back them up.

Granted that means you will not have a strong and central focus for your battling -- but on the plus side it also means you will find it more strategically desirable to build a more complex A-Team for play in the game that allows you to rotate the stronger types in and out of the team, as needed.

Posted: 9th Dec 2013 by CMBF