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Pokemon Scarlet and Violet: Which Starter to Choose

Patrick Bonifacio

With the release of Pokemon Scarlet and Violet, we once again ask the age-old question: which starter should you pick? We’ve actually tackled this topic before with Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. But with a new trio of starter Pokemon to choose from, it’s time for us yet again to take the pros and cons of each choice into consideration.

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Starter First Encounter

Image Credit: Game Freak/The Pokemon Company

One factor unique to this new generation though, is the fact that Scarlet and Violet are open world games. This allows a lot more creativity when it comes to tackling the game’s challenges. The order of the gym leaders isn’t set in stone here, for example, which means that one starter might not necessarily have an early advantage over another, only to fall off in the late game.

Regardless, one has to make the choice with only one Pokemon. We’re here to break down what sets one apart from the other!

Balanced, As All Things Should Be

As with any other main series Pokemon title, you should know one thing first about the starters: they’re all viable — at least in single player. These games are all designed to be playable from start to finish regardless of your selection. It’s even possible to get your hands on all three starters eventually through post-game content.

So even with our recommendations here, please feel free to choose whichever starter you like. All three are perfectly fine, and at the end of the day, it’s up to personal preference as to which one you should pick.

Fuecoco: Beefy, Durable Croc

  • Type: Fire
  • Evolves into: Crocalor (Fire), Skeledirge (Fire/Ghost)
  • Recommended build: Bulky special attacker
  • Stat spread:
    • 67 HP
    • 45 Atk
    • 59 Def
    • 63 Sp. Atk
    • 40 Sp. Def
    • 36 Speed

We start things off with Fuecoco, the Fire Croc Pokemon. This adorable, hungry crocodile serves as the Fire-type starter in Scarlet and Violet, and is bound to be a favorite among players thanks to its final evolution’s cool typing. It starts off with Ember, which is useful against the many Bug and Grass-type Pokemon that you’ll encounter early on.

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Starters Fuecoco

Skeledirge (evolves from Crocalor at level 36) is a Fire/Ghost Pokemon with a great base Special Attack stat of 110. It also has fantastic bulk, with base 104 HP and base 110 Defense. Skeledirge can stand and deliver for quite some time in battles as a result, soaking up damage and dishing out powerful attacks like Shadow Ball and Flamethrower. Its signature move, Torch Song, is slightly less powerful compared to Flamethrower, but raises Sp. Atk every time it lands, thus putting Skeledirge’s opponents on a timer.

Its base Speed is nothing to write home about, though, so you’ll often find that many other Pokemon can outrun Skeledirge assuming equal levels. But this isn’t really a problem for it, as it has the durability to stick around even though it doesn’t usually get the first move in a turn.

If you feel like brute force is the way to go, this croc won’t let you down as your Pokemon Scarlet and Violet starter.

Sprigatito: Gotta Go Fast

  • Type: Grass
  • Evolves into: Floragato (Grass), Meowscarada (Grass/Dark)
  • Recommended build: Fast physical attacker
  • Stat spread:
    • 40 HP
    • 61 Atk
    • 54 Def
    • 45 Sp. Atk
    • 45 Sp. Def
    • 65 Speed

Here we have the speedster of the bunch in Sprigatito, the Grass Cat Pokemon. This leafy feline runs circles around the other two starter Pokemon, and will easily go first in battles against the majority of the Pokemon in the game.


Image Credit: Game Freak/The Pokemon Company

Its high base Speed facilitates a glass cannon playstyle, especially after considering Meowscarada’s (evolves from Floragato at level 36) signature move, Flower Trick. Flower Trick is guaranteed to score a critical hit, dealing insane physical damage to slower Pokemon. This evolutionary line is, however, the most fragile of the three starter lines, but this is to be expected from a Pokemon that has this much going for it offensively.

If you want to get the jump on opposing Pokemon with viciously powerful strikes, look no further than Sprigatito.

Quaxly: Like Poliwrath, but Better

  • Type: Water
  • Evolves into: Quaxwell (Water), Quaquaval (Water/Fighting)
  • Recommended build: Bulky physical attacker
  • Stat spread:
    • 55 HP
    • 65 Atk
    • 45 Def
    • 50 Sp. Atk
    • 45 Sp. Def
    • 50 Speed

Rounding out the list is Quaxly, the Duckling Pokemon. This Pokemon sports a slightly more balanced stat spread compared to the other two, though it does pile on the Attack at base 120 once it’s fully evolved. Its high Attack stat coupled with its respectable defenses make it good at being a bulky physical attacker, in contrast to Skeledirge which prefers the special side of the spectrum.


Image Credit: Game Freak/The Pokemon Company

Interestingly, this also means that Quaxly, upon evolving into Quaquaval (evolves from Quaxwell at level 36), actually hits harder physically than Meowscarada does. Of course, this comes with the caveat of significantly lower Speed than Meowscarada, so Quaquaval might find it difficult to bring all that damage to bear.

But this is actually where its signature move, Aqua Step, comes into play. This move has a 100 percent chance of boosting the user’s Speed by one stage, which shores up Quaquaval’s biggest weakness. From there, it can dish out damage almost on par with physically-inclined legendary Pokemon, like Landorus-Therian.

Its dual typing of Water/Fighting is quite unique, and gives Quaquaval plenty of resistances. Water is one of the best defensive types in the game, as it resists Grass, Steel, Fire, and Ice — the latter two being amazing offensive types. Water likewise only has two weaknesses in Electric and Grass. Fighting, on the other hand, resists Bug, Dark, and Rock.

If you want a more balanced approach to the game, with a bit of a setup requirement to get things going, Quaquaval has you covered as your Pokemon Scarlet and Violet starter.

Patrick Bonifacio

Patrick Bonifacio

Patrick has been playing Dota since the dawn of time, having started with the original custom game for WarCraft III. He primarily plays safe lane and solo mid, preferring to leave the glorious task of playing support to others.

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