Best Grass Starters From All Pokémon Games (Ranked)

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When any Pokémon journey begins, you’re given a single choice: grass, fire, or water.

This is the most important decision you’ll ever make.

Your starter is your best friend. Your number 1. They start out with you, and most likely will be with you until the very end of the game.

So if you’re a fan of grass, which starter (from which gen) is your best bet?

And not only that, but which one is the most effective competitively? Let’s find out!


8. Chikorita/Bayleef/Meganium

Chikorita from the Pokemon anime

Alright, raise your hand if you’re surprised at this dead last choice.

While Chikorita and Bayleef sport some of the cutest designs in all of Pokémon, they just aren’t really that great.

When it comes to the gyms and Elite 4, the Chikorita line is awful. It only has advantages against Chuck’s Poliwrath, Will’s Slowbro, Bruno’s Onyx, and Pryce’s team.

That’s 6 total Pokémon.

But Pryce’s team is full of Ice-types, so they all also deal super effective damage to Meganium. Not to mention that every other gym or Elite 4 member also deals super effective damage or resists Grass-type moves.

And Meganium is just as bad competitively.

Maybe you could do some things with setting up screens and maybe leech seed, but Meganium can’t really capitalize on it.

Let’s face it: the Chikorita line just isn’t any good. Thank goodness for Sunkern and Sunflora, or else this could be the worst grass Pokémon ever.


7. Rowlet/Dartrix/Decidueye

Rowlet Pokemon anime screenshot

While the Rowlet line probably has the best designs of all the starters, it is far from the most effective.

Since the seventh generation of Pokémon doesn’t have gyms, we’ll be gauging Decidueye against the Elite 4. And it does… ok.

It can easily handle Olivia and some of Hau’s Pokémon, while Acerola will both give and take super effective damage because of the Ghost-typing.

But the thing that really kills Decidueye is Kahili’s Flying-types and Molayne’s Steel-types.

Competitively, there’s not much that Decidueye can do.

It has one real skill as a stall breaker and that’s incredibly niche. Basically, if there’s a Pokémon that can whittle your team down little by little, send out Decidueye. It will lock it into place with Spirit Shackle and wreck shop.

But other than that, it’s not that great.

That all being said, it can’t take away from Decidueye’s awesome Robin Hood theme, or Rowlet’s bow tie. Those are freaking awesome.


6. Treeko/Grovyle/Sceptile

Treeko Pokemon in the anime

Do you like geckos? Then you’re going to love the Treeko line.

All three of these Pokémon look really cool, with Sceptile’s mega evolution being the coolest. It looks like the freaking Dragonzord from Power Rangers!

In game, the Treeko line is… interesting.

It’s super helpful in the beginning against Roxanne’s Rock-types, and at the end against Juan, Wallace, and most of Tate & Liza’s team.

But in the middle of the Hoenn games, the Treeko line gets destroyed.

Two of the gyms are Fire and Fighting, with an Electric gym made up of mostly Steel-types as well. Plus, the Ice-type Elite 4 member actually has Ice-types that aren’t part Water.

Competitively, Sceptile doesn’t do too much either.

Its Unburden ability gives it a boost to its already great speed once an item is used, but it’s never able to take full advantage of it.

The same goes for its mega evolution, which gives it Lightning Rod. An Electric immunity is nice, but Mega Sceptile already double resists that type.

However, the worst thing going against the Treeko line is that it has to go up against the Mudkip line and the Torchic line, two of the best starters in the whole franchise.

Sorry, but the Treeko line just doesn’t match up.


5. Snivy/Servine/Serperior

Snivy from Pokemon anime

Ol’ Smugleaf is here and ready to represent!

The most elegant Pokémon on this list are in the Snivy line.

Fortunately, they don’t just look beautiful. They kick serious butt.

This is mainly because of the Contrary ability. With it, Serperior turns any stat decreases into increases.

That means its strongest move Leaf Storm won’t drop its special attack 2 stages, but rather increase it instead. After one use, you suddenly have an incredibly powerful special sweeper with decent 95 base defenses.

Unfortunately, the Snivy line doesn’t do nearly as well in game.

All 4 of its weaknesses appear with the Gym Leaders and the Elite 4. Even the Champion’s signature Pokémon, Volcarona, covers two of these weaknesses.

What the Snivy line really needs to succeed is a second typing.

If Serperior had a secondary Dragon or Fire-typing, it would easily be one of the most threatening Pokémon across any game.


4. Chespin/Quilladin/Chesnaught

Chespin Pokemon in the anime

My personal favorite of the Grass starters is probably the Chespin line.

Chespin is adorable, Chesnaught looks like a beefy viking, and I even love how goofy Quilladin looks!

Chesnaught is pretty good competitively too, taking full advantage of its defensive stats. It can set up Spikes, defend itself with Spiky Shield, and heal itself up with Drain Punch and Leech Seed.

Pair this with a great ability in Bullet Proof and you have a great wall.

It also gets decent coverage with Wood Hammer, and the Drain Punch I mentioned before.

Then why isn’t it higher on the list?

Well, the Chespin line isn’t that great in-game.

It seems that every Gym Leader and Elite 4 member has at least one Pokémon that can deal super effective damage against it. Chesnaught is great, but the fact of the matter is that it’s just not that useful in-game.


3. Turtwig/Grotle/Torterra

Turtwig Pokemon anime screenshot

My favorite memory of Torterra is when it appears as the entire earth in the Detective Pikachu movie.

That was freaking incredible.

Fortunately, the Turtwig line is just as incredible in game.

The Turtwig line absolutely destroys most of the gyms in Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum.

This is due to its great Grass/Ground-typing which can take on about half of the Gym Leaders and Elite 4 very comfortably. However, this does mean you have to look out for the Ice gym, and Flint, the Fire E4 member.

And unfortunately, this brilliance doesn’t really carry over competitively.

While Torterra has great attack and defense stats, it can really only do one thing with it: set up Stealth Rocks and try and hit everything that comes in.


2. Grookey/Thwackey/Rillaboom

Grookey from Pokemon anime

A gorilla that plays the drums? Where have we seen that before?

*Looks at Donkey Kong*

In all seriousness, the Grookey line is awesome.

This is partly because of its hidden ability Grassy Surge, which summons Grassy Terrain onto the field, healing all Pokémon every turn and boosting Grass-type attacks.

This is perfect for a new move in Sword and Shield: Grassy Glide.

With this attack, your Pokémon gets a good priority that’s boosted with Grassy Terrain. Combine this with Rillaboom’s incredible attack and you have nothing to worry about!

And in game, the Grookey line is pretty good! They handle about half of the Gym Leaders really well, and have difficulty with the other half.

But even with those resistances, the Grookey line is able to power through with some great coverage moves.

Grookey (and its evolutions) offer an incredible choice for your in-game journey. And Rillaboom is an important Pokémon to keep track of in the current competitive climate.

But even with all this, there’s one more grass starter line that’s even better at both.


1. Bulbasaur/Ivysaur/Venusaur

Bulbasaur Pokemon in the anime

To find the best of all time, you have to go back to the very beginning.

The Bulbasaur line is just incredible.

It handles almost all of the Kanto gym leaders and the Elite 4 with no problem, having an advantage against 3 and resisting another 3.

Plus, its secondary Poison-typing means it can’t be poisoned by Koga’s Toxic.

Bulbasaur is easily the best choice out of all of the starters for Kanto.

And competitively, Venusaur is just as terrifying.

With the ability Chlorophyll, Venusaur becomes a special sweeper in the Sun with moves like Solar Beam, Sludge Bomb, and Weather Ball. Venusaur is actually one of the best sun sweepers in the game!

And this is all without talking about Venusaur’s mega evolution that gains the ability Thick Fat, halving all Fire and Ice-type attacks that hit Mega Venusaur.

That covers two of its 4 weaknesses. And this allows it to take advantage of its defensive moves like Sleep Powder, Leech Seed, Toxic, and Synthesis.

Bulbasaur isn’t just the #1 spot in the Pokédex, but it’s also the #1 grass starter, too.

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Jeremy Hanna

Jeremy Hanna is what happens when you put all of your points into constitution and charisma. An improviser and writer for The Completionist, Jeremy loves Pokémon, LEGO's, Wrestling, and Golden Girls. Follow him on Twitter and say hi! @JeremyHanna753