Starters Untamed: Kanto

Good day fellow PJ-ers! Mr. Bojingles here reporting for duty. This is a new article that PJ and I contrived regarding the analysis of the pokemon during competitive Pokémon play. What I’ll be doing is basically going over how different pokemon fare in the competitive world. While I’ve been playing Pokémon since its inception in the late 90s, I only recently got sucked into playing other players. If anybody who has ever played in tournaments/online can definitely relate when I say this game is WAY deeper than it comes off to the uninitiated. I think that these articles will help those of you out who are interested in playing competitively, and if not, then I hope you enjoy the read.  To start off this series I’ll be going over the starters of each generation (starting with Gen I of course). It’s only logical to go begin with the ones who started it all!  Read it all after the break!

To start off we’ll discuss the very first dex entry; the grass/poison type Venusaur. This guy really brings me back to the glory days. He was the very first starter I ever chose (I mean, who couldn’t love the cute little bulby dinosaur?!). Upon further play, however, I found that Venusaur just didn’t cut it when facing the stronger gym leaders. As much as I adore grass types, they just really aren’t that great. Not only that, the dual typing with poison only furthers the damage. He comes with four weaknesses, which include ice, fire, psychic, and flying, the three prior being fairly common especially in competitive play. Not only that, but along with the majority of the other grass types he comes with a pretty crummy move pool. Basically switch in anything that resists it and Venusaur is practically walled. It really stinks because I love him so much, but it’s the sad truth.

This was, however, only the start for Venusaur. As the new generations came out he’s slowly improving. Now we’re at Gen V and I’ll be the first to say that he’s become pretty beastly. His move pool has improved (mostly through TMs) and his typing is actually working for the better. He’s now able to absorb Toxic Spikes, which makes him an easy switch-in, nor does he come with a weakness to the common Stealth Rock. His overall bulk allows him to take solid hits and his special attack is quite decent. He has numerous builds that make him an unpredictable poke, due to the access of Sleep Powder, Earthquake, Synthesis (gotta love the recovery moves), and Power Whip. The ability to learn swords dance allows him to not only play the role of a special attacker, but also a physical attacker which allows him to target different defenses. Of course being a grass type, he’s granted access to the oh-so-amazing leech seed and substitute, allowing him to be an effective tank/staller.

What really stands out now with Venusaur is his new DW ability: Chlorophyll. Now he’s a perfect candidate for sunny day teams as he out speeds virtually everything (provided that it’s sunny, of course). Now not only is he a solid offensive tank, he’s also a fantastic utility as well. Sleep Powder combined with said Leech Seed/Substitute only enhance his effectiveness in the sun. Depending on his role, Venusaur can benefit from the Life Orb (if being used offensively) or Leftovers (if being used defensively). Having a scarfed/banded Venusaur isn’t necessarily recommended since most of his move sets require some form of utility, whether it be a Powder attack or Leech Seed. I’ve already tested him on sunny day teams and let me tell you, he’s a force to be reckoned with. However, users beware; once the sun sets it’s lights out for poor Venusaur.

Next up is the fire/flying type, Charizard. Since Red and Blue’s release Charizard has been a fan favorite amongst many Pokémon veterans. And with good reason; I mean, he’s a fricking fire dragon who looks like he’ll tear you to shreds. However, looks can be deceiving. While Charizard has above average special attack and speed, he’s got one major issue; fire. Sorry folks, but fire is just a poor defensive type. It comes with two extremely common weaknesses (water and rock) and since many pokemon have moves such as Surf and Rock Slide, it really is difficult to use Charizard effectively. If being a fire type was bad, adding flying as his secondary typing only makes it worse, adding another weakness common in competitive play: electric. This is what really sets poor Charizard back. Flying also gives him an obliterating 4x weakness to rock, and combined with below average defenses, allow him to be easily 1HKO’d from moves such as Stone Edge and Rock Slide. What really seals Charizard’s fate is Stealth Rock. Switching in on Stealth Rock takes out at least a quarter of his HP on the spot. And seeing as Stealth Rock is a common utility in competitive play, he stands barely a chance against the tougher pokemon.

However, the wonderful folks at Game Freak have been fairly kind to Charizard (almost as if they WANT him to be good). His move pool has increased greatly since the release of RBY; giving him access to attacks such as Dragon Rage, Outrage, Thunder Punch, Roost, Dragon Dance, and the wonderful Belly Drum. Having a diverse move pool allows Charizard to be used in a wide variety of situations. You can combine a number of his attacks to make quite the beastly offensive machine. My favorite build utilizes Belly Drum and a Salec Berry (speed raises by 1 upon being 25% HP and under). If done correctly, Charizard will have +6 to attack and +1 to speed. Hop him up on speed EVs and a speed/attack enhancing nature, and you’ll have a Pokémon capable of decimating entire teams. If Belly Drum doesn’t exactly fit to your taste (it’s a pretty risky build) then Charizard does benefit from Life Orb or even a ‘Scarf or ‘Band to increase his speed/attack. If you play a ‘Scarfed/’Band Charizard, then you could benefit from his new DW ability Solar Power, which enhances his Special Attack by 50% in the sun (at the expense of losing HP each turn). Combine this with a ‘Scarf and some predicting ability then you’ve got a nasty sweeper.

If you’re using Charizard in competitive play, just make sure you have someone to back him up. Stealth Rock is just far too common of a threat, so be sure to have a Rapid Spinner around to assist your fire lizard in his rampage.

Last, but certainly not least, we’ve got the first water starter Blastoise. Here we have your typical run-of-the-mill bulky water; he’s got solid defenses, somewhat decent HP, and a so-so move pool. It’s just that there are so many other bulkier water types out there that you could use instead of Blastoise who have both better stats and moves. Some notable mentions include Vaporeon, Lapras, and Starmie. Gamefreak has been fairly kind to Blastoise over the years with inclusions such as Rapid Spin and Aqua Jet, making Blastoise at least a decent supporting role and offensive moves such as Focus Blast and Rock Slide give him a bit of an offensive edge. As said before, there are just better water types to use, so what exactly sets Blastoise apart from the rest?

With the addition to the Dream World, Blastoise learns Rain Dish; a HP recovery ability that activates after the use of Rain Dance. What this does is ever turn it heals Blastoise 1/16th of his max HP. 1/16th? Why, that’s absurd! It’s such a small amount it really shouldn’t matter, right? Well, combined with the leftovers item and one of his newer moves, Aqua Ring, Blastoise is able to heal nearly a 4th of his HP every round. I actually just got done testing him with this build on a Rain Dance team, utilizing Protect, Aqua Ring, and Toxic. Basically the whole idea starts with using Aqua Ring, using Protect (healing previous damage that was done to him), poisoning the opponent with Toxic, using Protect, attacking with something offensive (Waterfall, Surf, what have you). Every other turn involves using Protect to heal damage. So far it’s been pretty helpful on Rain Dance teams, allowing him to stall out opponents while they are poisoned. The fact that he gains so much HP each turn gets really irritating for the other player (I’ve had many rage quits when using this tactic XD). Of course it comes with its counters, so you need to use your predicting skills wisely so you can take advantage of his stalling abilities.

While this new Rain Dish ability brings Blastoise new tactics to the table, there still remains the fact that there are plenty of other bulkier water types around. Blastoise fills a few niche roles, but not enough to be considered over the rest.

Well, that’s all for the Gen I starters. Gen II will soon follow! Constructive criticism is always welcome and appreciated, so feel free to leave me any suggestions.

Big thanks to Mr. Bojingles for writing a guest article for us!  I don’t have too much competitive knowledge so I try to stay away from covering it, but I’m trying to widen our blog’s coverage of the game.  😀

      1. Mewmewmew :3…

        Also, I need to add.. Charizard takes 50% from Stealth Rock just like Ho-oh does.. right?

          1. Don’t stop… believing!

            Also, I have to say, great right up! Yea, Charizard with Solar Power is good since it’s basically a life orb but better! So give it a scarf, and your sweet as Cherry Pie.

            I love the Belly Berry (Looks funny, loololoolol) I killed a Starmie with a Fire punch.. lol. It’s pretty epic, and I love seeing Charizard get good use.

            And nice find on that Blastoise, I never thought of that.. man, what an annoying pokemon.

      1. nor does he come with a weakness to the common Stealth Rock.

        Uhh.. I don’t think you can read properly. He said he doesn’t come with a weakness to stealth rock dude.

          1. No it wasn’t actually xD I was just catching up with the new comments and had to double check the article myself :p

  1. I like how you included in depth thoughts on both visuals, and battling. Being more of a leisurely battler as opposed to a competitive one, I usually just skim your battle tactics. However they’re fun to read and see if I’m “doing it right” with my Pokemon, and their move set, of choice.

  2. i was worrying that starters would be useless in actual competitive battling… i was so wrong lol
    im gonna enjoy this series TYPHLOSION THERES HOPE FOR YOU BRO

  3. Thanks for the comments guys XD And yeah. . .it never read that Venusaur had a weakness to stealth rock, just to clarify it! And my apologies I wasn’t sure how much damage Charizard took from Stealth Rock, so I decided to shoot under rather than over. It’s a big weakness so it’s important to keep his disadvantages in check.

    Thanks for the positive feedback peeps 😀 It’s greatly appreciated!

  4. i screwed up today!!! i thought my seviper passed over glare when it breeded with my female jalorda,but it passed over swagger,which screwed up my plan for a glare/dragon tail set,so,if anyone hav a tsutarja,janovy,or jalorda with glare,a male ekans,arbok,dunspares(the weird,yellow pokemon,introduced in gen. 2,one of my favorites),or seviper with glare(all must be male) or a heart scale,plz,let me know

  5. ok, so venusaur learnt both rock slide and earthquake from day 1, but you forgot its weakness to psychic, it being a poison type as well, but plat gave it knock off, which is a dark type. /:{)
    for charizard, it has a perfect counter to electric types with eartquake: DIG, because when using dig, the victim can use earthquake, but remember, charizard is also a flying type, thus cancelling out earthquake.
    blastoise, it is ok from the start, learning earthquake and blizzard from day 1, so it is ok

    1. I mentioned it’s weakness to psychic, but knock off really isn’t that great of an attack to contend with the psychic types. It’s just way too weak, and by the time Venasaur get’s a Swords Dance in chances are he’s already dead. He’d do far more damage with a STAB Power Whip or Energy Ball than a super effective dark attack.

      As far as Charizard goes, I didn’t mention a ground weakness because he’s immune. Earthquake is a fantastic counter for his electric weakness, and just a great move altogether, but unfortunately many electric types are also a lot faster than him (i.e Jolteon being the most common in competitive play). A few bulky electric types are out there that could withstand an unbuffed EQ. Dig just isn’t a powerful enough attack to kill much, and generally those attacks that waste a turn such as Dig, Fly, etc. aren’t used because it gives the opponent to switch in a counter.

  6. good artical.
    now,i hav a evd venusaur and evd charizard,both adament,and charizard is shiny,what would be good moveset,they both hav a set,but i dont know if there good sets

    venusaur:seed bomb,swords dance,earthquake,and synthesis

    and charizard has:fire punch,fly,earthquake,and dragon claw

    should those sets stay,should i change them,or what?im open to advice

    1. Great natures for your Venusaur/Charizard. As far as Venusaur goes, you could keep his moves or take out Synthesis for Sleep Powder, that way you can incapacitate your opponent while you lay in a Swords Dance and a STAB Seed Bomb.

      For Charizard, he learns Fire Blitz at level 77, but if you don’t like the recoil Fire Punch is the way to go. Since he’s Adamant you can keep him physical, so Earthquake is great for type coverage and strength. As far as Dragon Claw goes, Outrage is a lot stronger so it’d be much more likely to kill those nasty dragon threats. If you plan on playing competitively, I would suggest taking out Fly and making room for a move such as Roost (if you’re playing Diamond/Pearl/Plat) or Dragon Dance.

      Hope this helps!

  7. why did you said that fire type is one of the worst defensive types
    grass is also very WEAK defensive and offensive type if not is the worst type like bug type
    btw i am a fire type fan and charizard and infernape the best pokes ever

  8. Yeah, the doom of Charizard is Stealth Rock. It’s the only reason it is in the NU tier. I hate that attack!

  9. please dont do one just for kanto, its the most boring gen! I LOVE ISSHU AND SINNOH. the new pokemon look awesome old ones are so boring and simple:|

      1. oh i do, i hate simple pokemon so much! honestly the reason people like them s because that was there first pokemon so they got used to them, i have had a few tests on my friend. then to cover that up they say were true fans as we have been playing from first gen and we like first gen, i hate first gen!

        1. You do have a point about people being used to the fact that these first pokemons are the original ones… But perhaps it’s just the value of nostalgy?

          If you look at pokemon now, they look a lot better with a lot of diversity. I can say for myself that gen 1 and 2 are simple and way too friendly. They now know that pokemon fans have grown up and want some badass mons to battle with each other. Combined with a lot of cute and sweet pokemon, people will now have a lot of new favorites because they call out more for our age and needs.

          gen 1 = – gen 2= +/- gen3 = ++ gen 4= + gen 5= ++ is what I think 😉

          <33 Pokemon xD

          1. Isn’t Charizard badass enough?

            @Kitkat: Yes, they’re more simple but simple doesn’t mean bad… My favorite pokémon (Charizard) is form Gen1 and there’s a lot of them that I still like despite the new better pokémon…


    1. and by the way, for all u guys who think blastoise sucks, watch kyorgre whoop ur asssssssssssssssssssssssssss!!!!!!!
      ps. sorry for language im so emotional over water types
      pps. for the fire type fans infernape alright better than empoleon…….

      1. Correct me if I’m wrong.

        If you want to play competitively your pokemon should have at least on move that is super effective against its weakness right?

        1. It’s always helpful, but some pokes don’t learn any moves to counter their weakness. And if they do, it doesn’t quite fit with their suited builds.

    2. and its practically a copy of a usual dragon which has been drawn in pokemon style, blastoise is awesome!

      1. lol. Again, STFU. Charizard is better than Blastoise in every aspect… design, strenght, wtv… A person that doesn’t like Charizard (or at least sympathizes with it) isn’t a real person… I’m shocked…

  11. wow i feel you gave no lime light to blastoise blastoise kicked ass in gen 1 mainly do to his high defense stat and no presence of a sp. def. he also had a decent special too during that gen venusaur was a push over once you got to blaine, and blue wasnt a push over too quickly destroying venusaur with either alakazam or switching in charazard or pidgot. i used blastoise way different in competitive play based solely on his defense and special attack he may be slow but blastoise is no push over. i think blastoise deserves a little more rep then you gave him pj

      1. lol oh sorry but who ever did gave WAY too much credit to Venusaur by if i say the toughest starter to go through gen 1 with blastoise kicks ass defensely and offensely in competitive play

        ps sorry for the double posting(stupid cell phone lol)

  12. wow i feel you gave no lime light to blastoise blastoise kicked ass in gen 1 mainly do to his high defense stat and no presence of a sp. def. he also had a decent special too during that gen venusaur was a push over once you got to sabrina, blaine, and blue wasnt a push over too quickly destroying venusaur with either alakazam or switching in charazard or pidgot. that poison type secondary can be both a curse and blessing as venusaur has crappy speed compared to ghost, psychic, darks, and many pokes that can learn psychic moves. i used blastoise way different in competitive play based solely on his defense and special attack he may be slow but blastoise is no push over. i think blastoise deserves a little more rep then you gave him pj

  13. in gen one desighn wise blastoise, other wise it depends, if ur a more offensive based person then go with a charizard, defense is your thing id go with blastoise, and if u want to use strategy to bring your oppenents hp down i would go with venusaur. pesonallly i find blastoise the best followe by venusaur then charizard who i hhate

  14. OMG!! i just got the new “GAME INFORMER”magazine this month,and it has a entire page for black and white!!even though its in an english magazine,it only has pics from the japanise versions,its awesome,yet did reveal some stuff we dont know,like how tsutarja’s name is actualy”tsujara”(i changed my nickname because of it,from tsutarja fan,to tsujara fan)the page has the art for reshiram and zekrom,a bunch of japanise pics,and a bunch of writing.i dont know if these are the english names for the starters(there pretty much the same for all 3),but,tsutarja’s name is tsujara,and mijumaru’s and pokabu’s stay the same,so,im not sure,but its so awesome,thought i would say.also,if i forget to put my nickname as “tsujara fan” for now on,feel free to remind me!its soo freaken awesome!

        1. game informer always do that at the start of a new gen but BW getting it big though due to them being the fastes selling handheld game of all time and got a 10/10 on every game score but yeah those are the jap names maybe maybe not tho the games come out next march along with the 3ds for which is awesome 😀

    1. its still not hard to believe that pokabu will keep his jap name, i mean theres nothing wrong with it and i just hope ash gets a MALE VA so then it might sound better if mijumaru keeps his jap name

    2. Tsutarja is Tsutarja, or Tsutaaja, or Tsutaja.
      Regardless of what Game Informer says, it’s not Tsujara. They done goof’d.

  15. I’ve noticed that everyone talks poorly of fire types. remember how like 3 of the johto gyms were weak to fire type? remember all those kickass fire type movers like overheat, fireblast, and flamethrower?
    Time to point out all of the grass-type’s flaws.
    1. 7 types resist grass. most are common types
    2. Grass requires a lot of thinking strategy and time to effectively master.
    3. not that many strong grass-type attacks. most stong grasstype attacks have some negative effect.
    4. more pokemon have double resistance to grass than double weakness.
    Shapow. take that grass type lovers. now stop hating on the fire types.

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