Pokemon Scarlet & Violet: Starter Pokemon: Who's The Best?

Nov 20, 2022 · 25


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Fuecoco, Sprigatito, and Quaxly have captured the hearts of worldwide Pokemon fans since their announcement. Countless trainers will spend the majority of their time in Pokemon Scarlet & Violet with these loyal Pokemon. So, that begs the question - which one is best?

Obviously, the answer is purely subjective. Regardless of strengths or weaknesses, how you rank Pokemon is up to you. This article will be examining mostly the mechanical components of each Starter Pokemon, such as stats, move sets, abilities, and evolutions.

**This article contains spoilers for Fuecoco, Sprigatito, and Quaxly's evolutions.**

Fuecoco

Pokemon Scarlet & Violet: Starter Pokemon: Who's The Best?

Fuecoco's charming grin is undoubtedly why so many trainers fell in love with this little crocodile. Among the three starters of Paldea, Fuecoco leans towards being a slower, bulky Special Attacker. Fuecoco is the slowest of the three but boasts the highest Special Attack.

A majority of Fire-type attacks are Special moves that synergize well with Fuecoco's stats; some notable moves that Fuecoco learns by leveling up are Flamethrower, Incinerate, and Hyper Voice. Fuecoco's ability, Blaze, will power up Fire-type attacks by 50% when Fuecoco has less than 33% of its HP remaining, perfect for getting out of close calls.

Fuecoco's Evolution

Fuecoco evolves into Crocalor at level 16, who then evolves into Skeledirge at level 36. Fuecoco's stats don't change much over the course of its evolution and simply increase in scale. Skeledirge obtains the Ghost-typing, providing immunity to Normal-type attacks. Skeledirge has a lot of notable moves -- Shadow Ball, Overheat, and Will-O-Wisp, just to name a few. In particular, Skeledirge's signature move is called Torch Song, a Fire-type attack that boosts the user's Special Attack by one stage.

This is incredibly powerful, as each boost will improve your Special damage by 50%, all the way to a whopping 4x multiplier at six stages. A guaranteed Special Attack boost can cause the battle to snowball in your favor, securing a win and putting your opponents up in flames.

Fuecoco's Hidden Ability

Skeledirge's hidden ability is Unaware, which grants it considerable defensive ability. Unaware makes it so that Skeledirge ignores the opponent's stat changes when taking and doing damage. In other words, a Swords Dance-boosted attack will deal the same damage as an unboosted attack, effectively neutering Pokemon whose primary strategy is to set up stat boosts. Combined with especially learned moves like Slack Off, which restores 50% of Skeledirge's HP, Skeledirge can stay on the battlefield for a long time.

Sprigatito

Pokemon Scarlet & Violet: Starter Pokemon: Who's The Best?

A cute and cuddly cat-like Pokemon with a floral scent, Sprigatito had a loyal following even before release. Sprigatito is an agile Pokemon, being the fastest among the three starters and leaning towards Physical moves with a good Attack stat. To compound this, Sprigatito learns useful moves like Leafage, Seed Bomb, and even U-Turn, a move that can allow Sprigatito to switch out of battle while also dealing damage. Proper training can turn little Sprigatito into a menace, speeding around opponents and hitting them where it hurts with Overgrow-boosted Grass attacks.

Sprigatito's Evolution

Much to the chagrin of Sprigatito fans hoping it remained quadrupedal upon evolution, Sprigatito evolves into the bipedal Floragato at level 16 and then into Meowscarada at level 36, a bipedal masked feline with an air of devious elegance.

Meowscarada obtains the Dark-typing upon evolution, making it immune to moves affected by the Prankster ability. Meowscarada learns the move Flower Trick, a Grass-type attack that not only does not miss but also always lands a critical hit. Trainers who remember the might of Urshifu will know that this makes Flower Trick very strong, being able to bypass stat changes and moves like Reflect.

However, the typing of Grass and Dark does provide it with a crippling double weakness to Bug-type attacks. Meowscarada is fast and hits hard but is frail. Always keep an eye out for opponents with moves like First Impression, a particularly deadly Bug-type attack that can overcome the speed advantage.

Sprigatito's Hidden Ability

Meowscarada gains the powerful ability Protean as its Hidden Ability, rewarding trainers who breed for it or have used an Ability Patch. Protean allows Meowscarada to change its typing to match the move it uses prior to using the move. As an example, Meowscarada would take on the Bug-type before using its U-Turn attack. This is separate from Terastylization, which will override Protean's changes. Also, as of this generation, Protean will only activate once after switching in -- keep this in mind, and switch out if you want Meowscarada to confound your opponent with its ever-changing type again.

Quaxly

Pokemon Scarlet & Violet: Starter Pokemon: Who's The Best?

The lovable Quaxly charms trainers around the world with their stylish haircut (hat?) and smile. Quaxly has the best Attack stat among the three starters, walloping foes with a mix of Water and Flying-type attacks like Water Gun and Wing Attack. Even though it learns Flying-type moves, Quaxly is not a Flying-type. It's a relief, as Water and Flying-type Pokemon have a crippling weakness to Electric-type attacks. Nemona's Pawmi, an Electric-type Pokemon, would be an insurmountable threat, but rest assured that Quaxly is only normally weak to such attacks. Some planning is needed, but it is possible

Quaxly's Evolution

Quaxly evolves into Quaxwell at level 16 and then into Quaquaval at level 36, a festival-dancing peacock with a powerful roundhouse kick. Quaquaval is a Water and Fighting-type Pokemon boasting a high Attack stat and medium Speed, further boosted by its signature move Aqua-Step. Aqua-Step is a physical Water-type attack that boosts the user's Speed by one stage. A single Speed boost will let it outspeed even Meowscarada, the fastest of the starters. With powerful moves like Liquidation, Close Combat, and Brave Bird, Quaquaval can hit both Skeledirge and Meowscarada for super-effective damage.

Quaxly's Hidden Ability

Quaquaval's Hidden Ability is Moxie, which boosts its Attack stat by one stage whenever it scores a KO. In combination with Aqua-Step, Quaquaval can become both fast and strong, a deadly combination that can easily steal away victory from your opponents. Just be wary of moves like Quick Attack, as Quaquaval's Speed boosts will be ineffective at outspeeding such attacks.

Furthermore, some of Quaquaval's most powerful attacks come with drawbacks that opponents can exploit. Close Combat lowers Quaquaval's Defense and Special Defense stats, making attacks deal more damage to Quaquaval. Brave Bird will deal recoil damage to Quaquaval, steadily chipping away at its health until it is in range so that it can be knocked out by an opponent's attack. Use Quaquaval wisely, and you are sure to win!

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