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How to pick the best starter in Pokémon Legends: Arceus

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Before you start your adventure in Pokémon Legends: Arceus, you must pick a starter Pokémon. This can be a paralyzing process, as all the starters are good in their own right. They are also absurdly cute! Your choices this time around are Rowlet, Oshawott, and Cyndaquil. There are, however, some statistical advantages to choosing one over another in this game. Here, we’ll rank all three starters and provide some details on why you might want to prioritize picking certain ones first in Pokémon Legends: Arceus.

These three starters hail from different Pokémon generations. Cyndaquil first appeared in Pokemon Gold and Silver, Oshawott debuted in Black and White, while Rowlet is from Sun and Moon. Each has strengths and weaknesses you should be aware of, especially because their Hisuian forms are a bit different from the versions you may be familiar with.

Typically, choosing the best starter has a lot to do with the types of other Pokémon available to you and the typing of Gym leaders, but here, there are powerful Noble Pokémon. There’s the Bug/Rock Kleavor, Grass/Fighting Lilligant, and then Fire/Rock Hisuian Arcanine. Any of these monsters can easily handle what’s to come, but if you want to let those major fights influence your choice, consider these details.

3. Rowlet

Rowlet is a top-choice since it starts off as a Grass and Flying-type, giving you more advantages in the early stages of the game.

GAME Freak, The Pokémon Company
  • Type: Grass/Flying into Grass/Fighting
  • Evolves into: Dartrix (level 17) and Hisuian Decidueye (level 34)

Rowlet starts out with Grass and Flying whereas the other two Pokémon have only one type. This gives you a slight leg-up right at the beginning of the game, but its eventual Grass/Fighting-type isn’t strong against any of the Noble Pokémon.

Hisuian Decidueye is weak against six different types and strong against six different ones, but its moveset can cover some of those blank spots. And yet, if you want an edge against early Noble Pokémon, look elsewhere.

2. Cyndaquil

Cyndaquil is especially useful at the start of the game since there are fewer fire types available early on.

GAME Freak, The Pokémon Company
  • Type: Fire into Fire/Ghost
  • Evolves into: Quilava (level 14) and Hisuian Typhlosion (level 36)

One of the main reasons to pick Cyndaquil as a starter is that the early stages of Pokémon Legends: Arceus doesn’t offer too many Fire types at large, so having one on your team as soon as possible is a smart choice. Once Cyndaquil evolves into Hisuian Typhlosion, it becomes a Fire/Ghost-type that has some strengths against common types like Grass and Ground, but it has a lot of weaknesses.

Round out the rest of your party with Electric, Poison, Fighting, and Ground Pokémon. Ultimately, Cyndaquil is a great choice, especially at first, but could struggle towards the end-game portion of Legends: Arceus — particularly when you get other legitimate Fire-type options.

1. Oshawott

Oshawott isn’t bad, and can even become an excellent choice, but you’ll have to put the time in to make that happen.

GAME Freak, The Pokémon Company
  • Type: Water into Water/Dark
  • Evolves into: Dewott (level 17) and Hisuian Samurott (level 36)

The main selling point here is that Oshawatt is strong against two of those early game Noble Pokémon.

Oshawott is tricky because it’s a Pokémon that eventually becomes great. It’s a Water-type with low defensive stats initially, making it hard to gravitate towards, at least at first. But it makes up for it with a solid Attack and very high Special Attack — and all the best Water attacks are Special Attacks anyway. Despite a mediocre Speed, its HP is solid. If you stick with Oshawott, it eventually becomes the almighty Hisuian Samurott, a Dark/Water Pokémon whose dynamic typing usually makes for a pretty diverse set of skills that can handle a lot of situations.

Round out your squad with Electric, Poison, Fighting, and Psychic types.

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