Picking your starter Pokemon is one of the most important decisions you can make in a Pokemon game, and Sword and Shield is no exception. If you’re stuck on which starter to pick, we’ve noted some things for you to consider in our Pokemon Sword and Shield Best Starter Pokemon Guide.
Remember that all the starter pokemon remain true to their type throughout all three evolution. Scorbunny will remain fire type. Sobble will remain water type. Grookey will remain grass type. They will pick up different moves for all different types through the journey.
Pokemon Sword and Shield Best Starter Pokemon
Choosing any of these starter pokemon will not have any special effect on the difficulty of the first three trainer gyms, which focus on Grass Type, Water Type and Fire Type, in the given order.
In short, Grookey can be more useful, as he is a grass type. Grookey will be strong against the water type in the second gym, and won’t take added damage in the first gym (which will be easier of course).
For pokemon Sword, Grookey can also be useful against the sixth gym leader Gordie, who uses a rock type pokemon. (Sobble can also work fine against Gordie)
Scorbunny will have a general advantage over the later gym leaders throughout the game. For pokemon Shield players, the sixth gym leader Melony is an ice type user so Scorbunny will be stronger.
Players should remember that the path to the first gym leader, Milo, is filled with diverse pokemon which can be easily caught. This will help you even out the field even if your starter pokemon is weak.
For example, if you start with Sobble who is weak against the gym leader, you can find Woobat (physic-flying type) in Galar Mines before the gym.
Long story short, picking the “wrong” starter won’t dramatically impact the difficulty of Sword and Shield, so really you should just opt for whichever one you like best.
Let us look at the Basic strengths and weaknesses of all the 3 starter pokemon.
Sobble is a shy, sad lizard, that turns invisible when it gets wet! It cries a lot but is actually pretty tough. Sobble can be acquired either at the start of the game, or by trading by another trainer.
Water type pokemon, strong against ground, rock and fire type pokemon (while using water type moves) and weak against grass and electric type pokemon.
Sobble evolves into Drizzle at level 16, then into Inteleon at level 35. It remains a pure water type even at final evolution.
Passive ability: Torrent-Powers up water type attacks by 50% when HP is below 1/3 of the maximum.
Hidden ability: Sniper-Powers up Critical hits by 225% from 150%
Strong Moves: Liquidation is Sobble and its evolutions most powerful move, learned at level 28. Rain Dance is learned at level 36, which will power up water type moves.
Drizzile will learn a bug type move, U-turn, at level 30, which will be important in taking on grass type Pokémon.
To battle against weaknesses, you might want to teach your Sobble, or its evolutions, moves like TM 27, Icy Wind, or TM51, Icicle Spear, to take on grass-type Pokémon. TM53, Mud Shot, will be effective against electric types.
Grookey is a little green grass monkey with a little stick. Grookey can be acquired by only two ways, either by picking it as the starting pokemon or by trading it with another player.
Grookey is a grass type pokemon, strong against rock, ground and water type pokemon and weak against fire, flying, ice, poison and bug type pokemon.
Grookey evolves into Thwackey at level 16 ( a larger monkey with a larger stick!) and into Rillaboom at level 35 (a giant ape with a drum like donkey kong). It remains a pure grass type throughout.
Passive ability: Overgrow- Increases grass type attacks by 50% at 1/3 health of maximum.
Hidden Ability: Grass Surge- Turns the arena into a grassy field as the pokemon enters the arena.
Strong Moves: Rillaboom’s signature move is Drum Beating. It learns Drum Beating, a grass type move with 80 power that lowers the target’s speed, when it evolves into Rillaboom.
To help the Grookey line against its weaknesses, consider using TM’s like TM81, Bulldoze, or TM53, Mud Shot, which will be super effective against fire-, ice-, and poison type Pokémon.
They can also learn TM78, Acrobatics, a flying type move that’ll be super effective against bug types.
Scorbunny is a speedy fire type rabbit. It likes to zoom around and likes sports. Scorbunny can be acquired by either selecting it as the starting pokemon or by trading it with another player.
Scorbunny is a fire type pokemon, strong against grass, ice, bug and steel type and weak against water rock and ground type pokemon.
Scorbunny evolves into Raboot at level 16 (a bunny with a red hoodie) and into Cinderace at level 35 (a larger rabbit with red shorts and soccer player vibe). It remains a pure fire type throughout.
Passive ability: Blaze- Increase fire type move damage by 50% at 1/3 health of the maximum.
Hidden Ability: Libero- Change the pokemon type to the type of attack it’s about to use.
Strong Move: When Raboot evolves into Cinderace, it learns a special move called Pyro Ball. Pyro Ball is a fire type move with 120 power that can leave the opponent with a burn.
Cinderace, unfortunately, can’t learn too many moves that help it out against its counters.
You can give it TM75, Low Sweep, to help against rock-type Pokémon. It also natively will learn Double Kick at level 12 as a Scorbunny.
You can use TR80, Electro Ball, to help even the score against water-type Pokémon as well.