Top 5 Worst ‘Pokémon’ starters of all times

Image via The Pokémon Company

Previously, I ranked all 26 starter Pokémon from the franchise, basing my information on both the games and the TV anime series. But this information does not help if you’re going to play the games as the anime and games are completely different. After all, you’re not going to get a disobedient Charizard if you play the video games (unless you’re missing some gym badges but that’s a different story).

But what makes a starter Pokémon not worth using in the game? Is it its abilities? Is it what it can provide in the late game? Or is it both? Maybe you’re the type of person who likes to have tough Pokémon at your party. Or maybe you want to challenge yourself and take these Pokémon as you play the game.

So using information using the games and not the anime, here are the top 5 worst Pokémon starters of all time.

5. Pikachu

Why Pikachu again? Listen, Pikachu is such an easy pick but it’s not 100% that bad. For starters, if you walk a short distance away from your starting point in Pokémon Go when you start a new game, you can get a Pikachu as a partner. But despite it being a unique starter Pokémon, you can’t evolve it to Raichu in Pokémon Yellow. And also, the first gym is Brock’s in Pewter city and electric types are not that good against rock types. Also, the third gym is electric type so good luck getting through that unless you have other Pokémon in your party.

4. Charmander

While Charizard is an amazing Pokémon, we can’t disregard its basic form – Charmander. Asides from its Pokédex description that says that the flame on its tail indicates this Pokémon’s life force, its hidden ability ‘solar power’ doesn’t do as much to benefit this Pokémon. While it is a fair exchange to reduce HP in exchange for an increase in its special attack, it’s only effective during sunny weather and there are other fire types out there with better abilities.

3. Chikorita

Just like in the Kanto region, Chikorita is also underrated in the Johto region in terms of the game’s meta. Cyndiquil’s final evolution form is an instant favorite/go-to for Pokémon fans, while Feraligatr is second best. Not a lot of fans have shown their appreciation for Chikorita and its evolution line when it comes to competitive Pokémon, which is kind of sad since this leaf Pokémon has lots of potential.

2. Treecko

While Treeko is pretty good, its hidden ability is pretty much useless. Do you mean to tell me that someone needs to steal this Pokémon’s item just so it can move faster? Not every Pokémon battle in the game has someone stealing something which pretty much makes this ability useless.

1. Tepig

Before Tepig’s introduction, there have been two other starter Pokémon that fully evolve into a fire-fighting type. So Tepig becoming the third means it needs to bring something to the table. The first was Torchic with its final evolution form being Blaziken. It had the special ability called ‘speed boost’ that increases its speed every turn. Next was Chimchar and its final form, Infernape. It has the hidden ability ‘Iron Fist’ that increases the power of all punching-type moves. And Tepig? It has thick fat as a hidden ability that only halves the damage of Ice and fire-type moves which is pretty much useless since Ice is weak against fire, and fire against fire isn’t that effective.

Look, not all starter Pokémon are that bad. It’s just that there are better choices out there if you’re looking deeper in terms of the Pokémon’s potential. Whether it’s their hidden abilities or just their playstyle in the video games, it will help determine if it will help you progress through the game quicker or not.

But just because I view these starter Pokemon as bad doesn’t mean that you have to too. You might like them for different reasons and you know what, that’s good enough.