Pokemon Review: Venasaur
Poor Bulbasaur always got overlooked next to Charmander and Squirtle. Strange, considering Bulbasaur dominates the first three Pokemon Gyms in Kanto, and evolves into its third stage earlier than the others.
Still, in real life, we see forests and grass all the time, while water (in large amounts) and especially fire are rarer phenomenons, explaining the bias. Today, we'll review Bulbasaur's final form, Venasaur, and determine if there's more to this plant (or is it an animal?) than meets the eye!
Type and Stats
Base stat total: 525
Venasaur's typing works pretty well; it has four weaknesses but five resistances. Plus, the Grass resistance is doubled because both of Venasaur's types resist it.
525 is a respectable stat total. The points are distributed pretty evenly, with more focus in Special Attack and Special Defense. This helpfully strengthens several of its Special attacks.
1. Overgrow: Boosts power of Grass attacks by 50% when HP is less than or equal to 1/3 of the total.
Overgrow is nice, but unfortunately it only affects Grass moves and Venasaur needs to be in trouble before it'll work.
2. Chlorophyll: Double Speed stat in intense sunlight.
If you plan on using Sunny Day, this nearly guarantees Venasaur will move first. A great ability - if you're gonna make use of intense sunlight.
Has to charge for one turn except in sunlight.
30% chance of Poison
Can hit underground opponents.
Venasaur doesn't learn a wide variety of attacks while leveling up, nearly all are Grass. TMs and breeding can help improve its repertoire.
For Grass attacks, your best bets are Solar Beam (excellent with Sunny Day), Frenzy Plant, and Giga Drain. Leech Seed is a neat way to sap health from a foe and transfer it to Venasaur.
Ground-type Earthquake can save you against Fire opponents, and Sludge Bomb offers a good Poison attack. Sunny Day can activate Chlorophyll and hasten Solar Beam. However, Venasaur specializse in trickier moves, like Rest, Toxic, Synthesis, and Leech Seed to outlast an opponent.
Overall, even with TMs, I wish more elementally-varied attacks were available; Venasaur's lackluster moves are its greatest failing. Still, if it can avoid its type weaknesses, Venasaur proves an effective staller.
Base Stat Total: 625
Ability: Thick Fat: Halves the power of Fire and Ice attacks.
Mega Venasaur has its pros and cons. It gain extra stat points in everything except HP and Speed, making it very well-rounded. However, I wish it specialized it one area more, to make it stand out a bit. Thankfully, its got a nice new ability, Thick Fat, which halves the power of two types Venasaur would normally be weak to. This makes it only weak to Flying and Psychic, while still having a good number of resistances.
Overall Score: 8/10.
For the actual games, Venasaur serves its trainer well, easily defeating Brock, Misty, and Lieutenant Surge while evolving into its final form at level 32. Competitively, it sees some usage, but a minuscule selection of attacks and a lack of focus in any stat restricts Venasaur's capabilities.
Still, its got a nice ability in its Mega form, and maybe in time new moves will be added to its array. If you're playing Pokemon Red, Blue, or any of the Generation 1 games, feel free to give this underrated starter a chance!.
- Venasaur shares the same height, 6'07'', as another dinosaur-like Grass type, Tropius.
- Bulbasaur and its evolutions were the first dual-type starters, and as of this writing Bulbasaur is the only starter possessing two types in its first form.
- Bulbasaur's family tree has an 87.5% chance of being male. Yikes, imagine all the competition!
Pokemon Quiz: Venasaur
Hopefully you've learned some facts, trivia, and capabilities of the original Grass starter. Feel free to share your thoughts in the poll, and I'll see you when we set our sights on the next Pokemon family: Charmander and its famous evolution Charizard!
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