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Pokemon Sword and Shield: Which starter should you pick?

Gautam Nath
Published Nov 22, 2019
Nov 22, 2019 IST

Grookey, Scorbunny, and Sobble
Grookey, Scorbunny, and Sobble

Picking a starter is always a confusing decision in every Pokemon game. For the first time since Generation 2, the starters and their evolution are Pure Grass, Fire and Water Types. None of the starters are too weak and if you want to succeed in all the Gyms and the League, it's best to have a well-rounded team.

It's also worth noting that Sword and Shield's Gym Leaders #4 and #6 are different. In Sword, the #4 Gym Leader is a Fighting Type and in Shield, he's a Ghost Type. #6 in Sword is an Ice Type and #6 in Shield is Rock Type.

Fan art of the Final Evolutions: Cinderace, Rillaboom, and Inteleon
Fan art of the Final Evolutions: Cinderace, Rillaboom, and Inteleon

In the short term in both games, Grookey is probably the best starter to get for the first two Gyms. Grookey's final evolution Rillaboom has high HP, Attack, and Defense but it's surprisingly low on the Sp. Atk, Sp. Def and Speed.

Scorbunny and its final evolution Cinderace have high Attack and Speed but it's low on other stats. Sobble and its final evolution Inteleon, on the other hand, have the highest Special Attack stat among all of them.

All of these starters have abilities wherein if they are below 1/3 HP, their Type-based moves do more damage. This means that if a Cinderace is below 1/3 HP, its Fire-Type moves will be increased. When looking at it from this aspect, Inteleon is the clear winner.

In general, the power level of Sobble and its evolutions are the highest although they have their vulnerabilities. None of the other starters are too bad either. It also boils down to personal preference and what type you would like to train. Fire and Water Types in all Pokemon games have always had a higher power level than Grass Types.

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