Pokemon: Top 6 Grass Starters
As you likely know, when new Pokemon Trainers begin their quest they usually choose between one of three "starter" companions: a Fire, Water, or Grass-element monster. Each of these creatures proves 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 Pokemon by deducing which have the superior stats, typing, and moves!
6. Snivy -> Servine -> Serperior
Land obtained in: Unova
Games obtained in: Pokemon Black and White
Snivy, of Unova, ultimately evolves into the serpent-like Serperior. Fans were fond of the designs of these Pokemon (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 Pokemon 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: Pokemon 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 humans') has the ability to revive dead plants!
4. Treecko -> Grovyle -> Sceptile
Games: Pokemon 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 anime (it had been previously weakened by Ash's other Pokemon)!
3. Turtwig -> Grotle -> Torterra
From the Sinnoh region comes the turtle-like Turtwig. Eventually becoming the formidable Torterra, this Pokemon 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 Pokemon world believed a massive Torterra dwelled beneath the ground.
2. Bulbasuar -> Ivysaur -> Venasaur
Games: Pokemon Red, Blue, and Yellow
The classic Bulbasaur earns today's second spot. Unlike every other starter (as of now), Bulbasaur already has 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 Venasaur, a monster with well-balanced stats that favor special attack and special defense. Venasaur'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 Pokemon, scientists argue over whether Bulbasaur should be classified as plant or animal. Which do you think?
1. Chespin -> Quilladin -> Chesnaught
Games: Pokemon 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 Pokemon.
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 Pokemon 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 it's known to flip 50 ton tanks. Impressive!
Which Pokemon do you prefer?
Choosing Your Starter
Though some starters fare better than others, each develops into a fearsome teammate. Competitive players need to know the minor differences to help gain small 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!