Pokemon Scarlet and Violet - what is the best starter to choose?

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Pokemon Scarlet and Violet has the toughest starter choice in a long time

Like many of the games in the franchise before it, Pokemon Scarlet and Violet present the player with a tough choice right at the beginning of the game. Which starter should you choose to be your first companion?

In recent Pokemon games, this choice hasn't been too difficult with either the designs or competitive viability making it a much smoother process for fans.

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Scarlet and Violet meanwhile have three pretty solid choices that make picking out the best a little more difficult. So which is it? Well, let's discuss them and see if we can figure it out.

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What is The Best Starter to Use in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet?

Picking the starter right for you will help make your journey through Paldea more enjoyable

In past games, deciding the best starter would come down to how they dealt with the various types being represented throughout the major battles but this is a little more complicated in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet.

All 18 types are represented across the game's three storylines. This means that the starter trio should be a bit more balanced in theory.

Let's look at the final form of each of them and what the positives and negatives are.

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Type Effectiveness

Looking at the type charts of Pokemon is a good way to get the Scarlet and Violet best choice

With eighteen types available and featured in some capacity, figuring out the number of strengths and weaknesses. Below we have the final forms and their ups and downs.

Meowscarada - Grass, Dark

Meowscarada is the final evolution of the grass Pokemon Sprigatito

Meowscarada, the final evolution of the grass-type starter Sprigatito is super-effective against the following:

  • Ground
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  • Rock
  • Ghost
  • Water
  • Psychic

A solid set of strengths, giving it a way to deal super-effective damage to both of the other starters as well as three of the eight gyms and two titans with no types resisting its stab damage.

Its weaknesses, however, are quite concerning as is normally the case for grass starters. They are:

  • Bug (4x weakness)
  • Fighting
  • Flying
  • Poison
  • Fire
  • Ice
  • Fairy

This means that Meowscarada is weak to two of the gyms, one of which is a 4x weakness along with four of the five Team Star leaders and one of the Titans.

It does make up for this by resisting six of the types:

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  • Ground
  • Ghost
  • Water
  • Grass
  • Electric
  • Dark

It is also immune to psychic damage completely which is great but Meowscarda remains one to avoid for Team Star battles.

Skeledirge - Fire, Ghost

Skeledirge is the final evolution of the fire-type Fuecoco

Skeledirge is the second of the fully-evolved starter, being the final form of the fan-favourite Fuecoco and being a Fire-Ghost strong against the following:

  • Bug
  • Ghost
  • Steel
  • Grass
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  • Psychic
  • Ice

Skeledirge is the obvious choice for the Victory Road storyline in Scarlet and Violet with five of the eight gyms being weak to one of its two types, with the late-game gyms conveniently being the ones weak to its added Ghost type while the early-game gyms are all weak to fire. It is also strong against Steel, one of the Titan types.

The downside to Skeledirge is that it's only strong against one of the two other starters, while both of the others have a way to hit it for its otherwise fairly solid line-up of weaknesses:

  • Ground
  • Rock
  • Ghost
  • Water
  • Dark

This is a fairly even split of types across the three stories with two titan types, two gym types and one Team Star leader.

Resistances are where Skeledirge really shines, however:

  • Bug (1/4)
  • Poison
  • Steel
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  • Fire
  • Grass
  • Ice
  • Fairy

This is an incredible set of resistances, brushing off the bug gym entirely along with the grass and ice gyms while three of the Team Star leaders are also resisted with a titan resisted.

To top it all off, however, Skeledirge has two immunities with the normal gym and fighting Team Star leader not being able to hit it for stab damage in its final form.

Quaquaval - Water, Fighting

Quaquaval is

The final of the three starters is Quaquaval, the evolved form of Quaxly and is strong against:

  • Normal
  • Ground
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  • Rock
  • Steel
  • Fire
  • Ice
  • Dark

This is the most versatile in terms of the stories, having a type advantage against two of the gyms, two of the Team Star leaders and three of the Titans. Quaquaval can also hit both of the other starter options for weakness in its final form.

Defensively is where this option becomes a little more interesting, however with only five weaknesses but tough ones:

  • Flying
  • Grass
  • Electric
  • Psychic
  • Fairy

This set of weaknesses is mostly against the gym leader types, taking up three of them. The other weaknesses comprise one titan and one Team Star Leader.

Resistances are also fairly divided across the board with the following types being unable to hit the water starter properly:

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  • Rock
  • Bug
  • Steel
  • Fire
  • Water
  • Ice
  • Dark

These resistances cover three gyms, two Titans and two Team Star leaders, another fairly even split across the game.

Conclusion

When looking at the overall strengths and weaknesses, which option is best for you?

Still haven't decided on a starter? Well for us, the choice should really come down to which of the three storylines you want to focus on the most.

For the aspiring Pokemon champion, the starter of choice for you should be Fuecoco (later Skeledirge). Its usefulness in both the early-game and late-game gyms is undeniable and with your starter likely being your ace? It's an easy decision.

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The other two starters seem to be a lot more varied in how they handle the various storylines but we think that Quaxly (later Quaquaval) is the better of the two options overall, allowing for a fairly balanced experience but one that might be more difficult to team build around properly.