In between "Pokémon" journeys, Jeremy enjoys working as a pharmaceutical chemist and campus manager.
As you likely know, when new Pokémon Trainers begin their quest, they usually choose between one of three "starter" companions: a Fire, Water, or Grass-element monster. Each of these creatures prove to be a worthy ally, and can evolve into two stronger forms, but some appear more combat-fit than others.
We've previously examined the Water and Fire starters; today we'll review the best of the Grass Pokémon by deducing which have the superior stats, typing, and moves!
6. Snivy -> Servine -> Serperior
Land obtained in: Unova
Games obtained in: Pokémon Black and White
Snivy, of Unova, ultimately evolves into the serpent-like Serperior. Fans were fond of the designs of these Pokémon (note how Snivy gradually loses its limbs); unfortunately, they're a bit lacking compared to some starters.
Snivy always retains its pure Grass-element, never gaining a second type. However, this may not be ideal: Grass Pokémon are resistant to four elements, but weak to five. Even worse, final form Serperior's stats are somewhat lacking: only its speed is high, and speed's only function in battle is to determine who attacks first. Serperior's attack and special attack are both low, making it hard to directly defeat foes.
The Snivy family learns some powerful attacks, but they're all either Grass or Normal-type moves. Consider using the TM or HM items to offer more variety. Given these limitations, Snivy, like his fellow Unova choices, lags behind other starters.
Trivia: Snivy's family are able to use sunlight to hasten their body functions, increasing their speed and power.
5. Chikorita -> Bayleef -> Meganium
Games: Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal
Next, we have the second Grass starter ever introduced to us, Chikorita. It evolves into Bayleef, then Meganium, retaining its pure Grass-type along the way. Meganium has very well-balanced stats, slightly favoring defense and special defense. Furthermore, it'll learn many techniques that help it stay alive. Reflect and Light Screen will reduce incoming damage, while Synthesis restores health.
Regrettably, Chikorita's family suffers from similar offensive problems to Snivy's. They'll only develop Grass and Normal attacks; even then, the strongest moves are only learned at very high levels. Meganium's overall usefulness as a defensive Pokemon is also hampered by Grass's large amount of elemental weaknesses. Finally, consider that Chikorita is weak against many of the types the early Gym Leaders in Johto use; picking it offers a higher challenge than the other choices.
Trivia: Meganium's breath (very contrary to ours) has the ability to revive dead plants!
4. Treecko -> Grovyle -> Sceptile
Games: Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald
Fourth place goes to the agile Treecko, our third starter who never gains a second element (not counting Mega Evolution). Treecko was a refreshing sight; unlike its predecessors, it was agile and offensive instead of slow and defensive.
Treecko ultimately becomes Sceptile, who has low physical stats (attack and defense) but high speed, special attack, and special defense. Interestingly, most of Sceptile's moves are physical, so it can be a bit hard to make use of the high special attack; TMs help rectify the issue. Also, Sceptile learns Fighting, Dark, and Bug attacks in addition to the usual Grass and Normal, so you can exploit a plethora of weaknesses. It's not quite perfect, but Sceptile is a worthy addition to the Grass team.
Trivia: Ash's Sceptile took down a Darkrai once in the Diamond/Pearl anime (it had been previously weakened by Ash's other Pokémon).
3. Turtwig -> Grotle -> Torterra
Games: Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum
From the Sinnoh region comes the turtle-like Turtwig. Eventually becoming the formidable Torterra, this Pokémon gains Ground as a second element. As of this writing, Grass/Ground is a typing unique to this family, but it isn't the most efficient one—the combo possesses two resistances, one immunity, and four weaknesses. One of those vulnerabilities, Ice, is strong against both Grass and Ground types, quadrupling the damage sustained from cold attacks.
Nevertheless, Torterra is a physical juggernaut, boasting of impressive hit points, attack, and defense. Additionally, it learns a variety of attacks, including Grass, Dark and Ground techniques. Plus, Torterra's moves themselves are impressive, either inflicting loads of damage, healing itself, or fortifying its defenses. Sinnoh's starters are all good choices, and you can't go wrong with any of them.
Trivia: Ancient civilizations of the Pokémon world believed a massive Torterra dwelled beneath the ground.
2. Bulbasuar -> Ivysaur -> Venusaur
Games: Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow
The classic Bulbasaur earns today's second spot. Unlike every other starter (as of this writing), Bulbasaur begins with a second element: Poison. It's a welcome addition; this combo has four weaknesses but five resistances. Additionally, all Poison types are immune to the poison status effect, offering another defense.
Bulbasaur eventually becomes the mighty Venusaur, a monster with well-balanced stats that favor special attack and special defense. Venusaur's lacks a wide range of offense; it learns mostly Normal and Grass attacks. Still, a variety of healing techniques are available, and TMs can add more options. Finally, note that Bulbasaur's Grass-type is strong against the first three Gym Leaders in Kanto, offering an easy beginning for rookie Trainers.
Trivia: In Pokémon, scientists argue over whether Bulbasaur should be classified as plant or animal. Which do you think?
1. Chespin -> Quilladin -> Chesnaught
Games: Pokémon X and Y
Many fans were displeased with the silly design of the Chespin family. Hard to blame them looking at the visual diarrhea that is Quilladin. But get past the odd appearance, and you'll have found a mighty starter Pokémon.
Chespin's final form, Chesnaught, is a Grass and Fighting type, which has both five weaknesses and resistances. Not bad, but what we're really after are Chesnaught's stats. It has low speed and special attack, so avoid indirect moves and expect to attack second. However, this fierce Pokemon has impressive hit points and attack, as well as amazing defense. Furthermore, almost all of the learned offensive attacks are physical, making good use of Chesnaught's high attack stat. And you can choose from many elements; Grass, Fighting, Normal, Ground, Bug, and Dark attacks are all available.
As if that's not all, Chesnaught learns some defensive techniques, including the useful Spiky Shield, which blocks all damage, and sometimes counterattacks. In terms of aesthetic appeal, most Pokémon fans admit Chespin's family ranks low among the starters. But for combat purposes, give some thought to choosing this mighty Grass-type.
Trivia: Chesnaught is so powerful that it's known to flip 50 ton tanks. Impressive!
Choosing Your Starter
Starters remain some of the best marketing tools for Nintendo, as we eagerly await any leaked details of upcoming partners for us to bond with. Though some fare better than others, each develops into a fearsome teammate. Competitive players need to know the minor differences to help gain edges, but most fans will be served just fine by picking the one that tickles their fancy.
In other words, don't fret the small details and have fun playing!
Questions & Answers
Question: What about the incredible ability Contrary that instantly made Serperior viable?
Answer: Good point. To be fair, that's Serperior's hidden ability that many players will never access, but I understand your logic.
© 2015 Jeremy Gill
Ozzie on May 22, 2020:
I think venesaur is the best grass starter because firstly he can mega evolve also his type is super affective against other grass pokemon, he can also tank alot of hits thanks to his defense and has very good attack but he has low speed,
PhantomGamer101 on August 20, 2018:
i love the hoenn Starters so much they are the most badass
Shadow jack09 on July 22, 2018:
dude i love all the grass starters even the legendary pokemon grass starters it even make sense
PokeFan on March 31, 2018:
All the grass starters are awesome!
Np on March 07, 2018:
Sceptile can smash everyone
BreakenB on December 17, 2017:
Let's go Chapin
Jeremy Gill (author) from Louisiana on October 31, 2017:
Either you're teaching it the wrong moves or you're having your Chespin fight types it shouldn't be paired against.
Serena on October 31, 2017:
CHESPIN SHOULD BE NOT EVEN IN THE LIST because sadly I chose it as my starter and it keeps dying even when a wild poke is lvl 10 and it is lvl 20
DeluxeDoge on October 28, 2017:
Chespin second from is ugly it looks like a fat ball SNIVY AND DECIDUEYE ARE THE BEST
avish on September 05, 2017:
i would much rather prefer treecko of its final evolution sorta like the way i choose charmander even if it does not have a very good start in firered
Bella the Pokémon boss on June 27, 2017:
A lot of people hate snivy because of how pikachu lost to it and it was level 5 in the anime a level 5 and it was the first time that snivy battled so a lot of people hate it like he I like treeko I think it is cool but I choose torching over it because my brother told me to choose it so sorry treeko I'm so sorry and sorry for snivy fans it's just treeko a better but treeko is not as cute as torching but anytime in roblox Pokémon brick bronze I'll always choose charmender so that's my opinion you can agree but I don't think any one does so that's my script/opinion so bye And reply if you think so great if you don't that say "I like snivy but it's ok" and if your mean "really how dare you say I hate snivy but still so here is something else.If you watched aura guardians video of ash's best Pokémon pikachu 5th 4th sceptile 3infernape and 2nd is... (drum role please) SNORLAX because it has not 5 but 6 moves which is insane so that said snorlax (Ash's)Is lord so this is for haters don't say oh it was a sepret battle it's not it was one battle so thanks so much for reading this much and bye
Flash on June 02, 2017:
Guess Chespin was better than people gave him credit for, eh? Cool article!
Kieren on May 22, 2017:
That is not correct snivy supposed to be first because the fully evolve is fast and powerful
CherryChim025 on April 23, 2017:
PokeNoob you're right!
CherryChim025 on April 23, 2017:
When I had Chespin in Pokemon X and Y, it did a lot of damage! I was impressed! And when I did the Super training with it, when it was just a Chespin, it was gaining just 3 hp every time. When it evolved it gained more +4 hp than +3 hp! Then, when it evolved again, you would not believe how much hp, defense, and attack. Every time it gained +4 or +5 of those stats! No +3's !!!! : )
Fighting girl on October 20, 2016:
Can you make a list of cool Pokemon. I know how boys are( I'm a girl) , going after the cool dudes. I like Pokemon too, I can prove it by saying I keep fighting element. My team is chesnaut,mienshou,lucario,emboar, and hitmontlee.
PokeNoob on August 13, 2016:
Anyone notice that all unova starters are last?