Since Arceus, in all of its transcendent divinity, created the Pokemon universe, fledgling trainers have been leaving their hometowns wet behind the ears, stars in their eyes and a Fire, Grass, or Water-type pokemon by their side. There’s no doubt effervescent young trainers have been introduced to several powerful and lovable characters like Chimchar, Bulbasaur, and Froakie (all hail the mighty Greninja), but I wonder what a game would look like if we flipped the script on the Pokemon’s customary starter type lineup. Perhaps a reconfiguration of the formula we’ve come to know and love is in order?
With that, here are some starter trios I think could alter the landscape and open the doors to a fresh way of training our Pocket Monster companions.
Much like the standard Fire/Grass/Water, there’s no clear advantage here by choosing one type over another. Along with it being a practical alternative that fits Game Freaks functionality, it would give rivals a chance to bring more physicality than types that rely heavily on mystical attacks.
Quite possibly the easiest lineup to shift into, this would be more of a toe-dip-in-the-pool than a cannonball-in-the-deep-end change. And be honest, who isn’t in favor of a little more brawling?
This? This right here? This type combination would shake up the game dynamics. Here we have three types that are not weak or strong against one another but would make for awesome game beginnings as none of them are typically found in high volume early in games – Pikachu and Mareep being exceptions.
Once inaugural battles are won (or lost if you’re into Tail Whips), players would be pushed to diversify their teams early to counter their rival’s starter. As one of the “sexier,” “flashier,” potential starter trios, I’m all-in on this.
Beginning with Pokemon familiar with happenings in the Underworld would certainly give the game a darker and more — dare I say — Gastly tone. This starter set would be somewhat trickier with Ghost-types being weak against Fighting-types as well as Fighting-type moves having no effect on Ghost-types. Adding Odor Sleuth to a Fighting-type starter’s initial repertoire would mitigate the possibility of having your soul crushed by a rival who is quite literally “untouchable.”
Just imagine: your character wakes up leaking from their pores after a far-too-real night terror. Then, from an open window, they’re beckoned by an ominous voice calling out to them. Your character walks outside into a veil of fog holding palaver over their village. Just before your character is pulled into a sinister elemental separate plane, they’re swiftly rushed to the Professor’s safehouse and gifted with a Pokemon suited for battle against nefarious forces. *chills*
As a show of respect, I’ll include one of the original starter types as part of this collection of hopes and dreams. And speaking of dreams, this trio would be exactly that: a dream. No one type necessarily overpowers the other, and all three have some of the most diverse moveset capabilities — especially if they are double-typed in later evolutions.
Like some of the aforementioned combinations, players would be capable of accessing elusive (hello, Abra; hello, Ralts) types that aren’t found in the wild without a few badges under the old belt. A well-balanced trio made up of these types could lay the groundwork for a gripping elemental fantasy storyline.
Queue the Kool-Aid Man because OOOHHHH YEEAAAAA!!! Having your Mom see you head out with a DRAGON in tow would make her feel a whole lot safer and make you look a whole lot cooler. And because with recent games moving to multiple rival storylines, you can queue Oprah Winfrey because YOU GET A DRAGON and YOU GET A DRAGON and YOU GET A DRAGON.
Dragons are super-effective against their own kind, so worrying about type advantages won’t be an issue. They’re only weak to Dragon, Ice, and Fairy but with expansive movesets, Dragons are often able to cover their faults. Too long have we waited until late-game to add a Dragon-type to our team. So give the people what they want, Game Freak. (What they want are dragons.)
While the success of Pokemon has never truly wavered, it’s become somewhat predictable and formulaic. Changing up the starter types would not only inject some energy into the games’ veins, but it could enhance the playability. Landscapes, availability, storylines, and regions could all see a reconfiguration that players have never seen before. With a modus operandi that’s been nothing but successful for decades, can’t a little revitalization be afforded?