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None of You Will Like This Pokemon Starter Ranking, I Guarantee It

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None of You Will Like This Pokemon Starter Ranking, I Guarantee It

Every Starter Pokemon Ranked

24. Chespin, Quilladin & Chesnaught

Individual Rankings: Chespin #23, Quilladin #24, Chesnaught #17
Art: SADCAT (DeviantArt)
Someone had to land at the bottom of these rankings, and unfortunately for the Chespin family, they hit the floor with a resounding thud. Chesnaught is actually a pretty cool design, looking like some kind of rejected Robot Master from the Mega Man series, but its preceding evolutions really let it down.

Chespin is a chipmunk with a woeful hat, and Quilladin is absolutely atrocious. Why is it so round? Why does it have a 100-yard stare? Why does it exist at all? Far too many questions, far too few answers. Go away, Quilladin!!

23. Mudkip, Marshtomp & Swampert

Individual Rankings: Mudkip #21, Marshtomp #21, Swampert #20
Art: KenronToqueen (DeviantArt)
So I herd you liek Mudkips. We like them okay, but they’re not the most awe inspiring starter Pokemon in franchise history. There’s something undeniably goofy about all three creatures in this family, with Marshtomp probably the worst offender.

By the time we arrive at Swampert, we’re rewarded with a slimy, beady-eyed lump capable of Mega Evolving into those guys at the gym who never do leg day.

22. Oshawott, Dewott & Samurott

Individual Rankings: Oshawott #24, Dewott #10, Samurott #23
Art: Deruuyo (DeviantArt)
We’re not quite sure what to make of this evolutionary line. We go from dopey otter to significantly cleverer otter to a shell samurai… otter? It just doesn’t feel like a sensible progression, and that’s kind of the whole point of evolution, isn’t it? Samurott just seems clumsy and unwieldy.

They’re bumped a tad from the doldrums because Dewott actually looks awesome. It’s the MVP of this family, and it oughtta look into emancipation if it wants to find any longterm success. …Get it? Oughtta?

21. Turtwig, Grotle & Torterra

Individual Rankings: Turtwig #15, Grotle #20, Torterra #19
Art: MCsaurus (DeviantArt)
The Turtwig line feels a little bit like ground we’ve covered before, with the Squirtle trio already cornering the market on shelled starters. Sure, they’re tortoises this time, but they suffer from imposter syndrome all the same.

None of them are particularly offensive, though they don’t really stand out from the crowd. The eclectic positioning of Torterra’s personal topiary feels a little awkward, and Grotle looks as if it would be better suited for Dr. Eggman’s army.

20. Piplup, Prinplup & Empoleon

Individual Rankings: Piplup #18, Prinplup #11, Empoleon #24
Art: TheFrymon (DeviantArt)
Yet another example of a serviceable Pokemon hamstrung by questionable relatives. Prinplup is quite sleek and pleasing to the eye, but on either side of it is a baby bird with white nipples (damn you, Niplup!) and a sinister tuxedo penguin.

There’s no place for fashion in the world of Pokemon, aside from Scraggy and its pants made of loose skin. Empoleon’s suit and tie motif put it at the very bottom of all final evolutions, though admittedly, make it the best candidate for a masquerade ball.

19. Torchic, Combusken & Blaziken

Individual Rankings: Torchic #20, Combusken #22, Blaziken #7
Art: Pixellem (DeviantArt)
A testament to the idea that if you try your hardest, you can really become something one day. Blaziken is one of the most enduring starters in Pokemon history, surpassing the tepid response its contemporaries received.

However, to get there it has to suffer through the indignation of being a fried chicken. Torchic is cute enough, but Combusken is a whole lot of feathery nope. We’ll just stick to the salad, thank you very much.

18. Fennekin, Braixen & Delphox

Individual Rankings: Fennekin #10, Braixen #16, Delphox #22
Art: KumaKumaGau (DeviantArt)
Ultimately, how much you enjoy this evolutionary line comes down to how much of a closeted furry you are. Though it starts as a snuggly little fennec fox, it soon becomes apparent that Fennekin has grander ambitions, namely rising to stand on two legs and setting the world on fire.

By the end, it’s gone through so many changes in life it just says ‘screw it, fox wizard’ and that’s how we end up with the bizarre Delphox. Remember your friend from high school who could never stay in the same job for more than a few months? That’s totally Fennekin.

17. Totodile, Croconaw & Feraligatr

Individual Rankings: Totodile #13, Croconaw #15, Feraligatr #18
Art: Zerochan923600 (DeviantArt)
The Totodile line feels like they’re just kinda there. Not that there’s anything wrong with them (there’s nothing wrong with any of the starter Pokemon… except for Quilladin), but they don’t really rise above the others in any way.

Also, call us picky but Feraligatr loses points for the way its name is spelt. Sure, it was due to technical limitations, but it just reads unpleasantly, like when Ben Roethlisberger’s full name wasn’t on his jersey in Madden ’05.

16. Tepig, Pignite & Emboar

Individual Rankings: Tepig #17, Pignite #7, Emboar #21
Art: Porcubird (DeviantArt)
Let’s take a moment to give a special shout out to Pignite. It’s so full of spunk and moxie, it’s definitely going places. But where its bacon sizzles, the other two members of its family are a little raw.

Tepig is your standard cutesy starter Pokemon fare, but Emboar appears a little busy for our tastes. What’s it got there, a weight belt and a flaming neckerchief? Take that off, dude, it looks weird!

15. Popplio, Brionne & Primarina

Individual Rankings: Popplio #22, Brionne #13, Primarina #9
Art: missbudder (DeviantArt)
What have we got here? A sea lion clown that turns into a sea lion mermaid ballerina? Sure, makes about as much sense as anything else in the Pokemon universe.

The fantastical elegance of Primarina is hindered somewhat by its zany pre-evolutions. Popplio’s major issue is that when lined up next to the aesthetically pleasing Rowlet and Litten, it sticks out like a sore thumb.

14. Snivy, Servine & Serperior

Individual Rankings: Snivy #12, Servine #18, Serperior #13
Art: SoftMonKeychains (DeviantArt)
At a base level, Snivy and its evolutions are pretty neat. They look quite slick, and the idea of grass snakes makes for a suitable Pokemon premise. The issue, however, is that they feel a bit too similar to the Treecko line, and they’re… not exactly snakes. They’ve got those little arms and legs, you know?

It’s why they sit pretty much somewhere around the middle at each stage of evolution in these rankings, staying even-keeled and somehow remaining smug all the same.

13. Grookey, Thwackey & Rillaboom

Individual Rankings: Grookey #7, Thwackey #19, Rillaboom #16
Art: CatchShiro (DeviantArt)
Grookey is definitely a mixed bag. Its first stage is about the perfect little package of mirth, but it’s downhill from there. Thwackey has got something going on deep in its soul that it wants to take out on you, and Rillaboom looks like a really muscular but undeniably unemployed manchild.

Sound harsh? Musicians are rarely understood in their time. Maybe somewhere down the track, they’ll become cult classics. For the time being however, they sit collectively at a pedestrian #13.

12. Sobble, Drizzile & Inteleon

Individual Rankings: Sobble #6, Drizzile #23, Inteleon #12
Art: VampireSelene13 (DeviantArt)
We’ve alluded fairly frequently to single members of an evolutionary line being dropped back down thanks to the other members of their family, but in this case, there’s only one problem.

Sobble is amazing. It’s a crying chameleon, and potentially the most personality-filled starter in Pokemon history. Inteleon is not too shabby either, with its svelte frame and bedroom eyes (yeah, I went there). But the middle stage is an emo lizard, with a damned fringe. Get that noise out of here!

11. Scorbunny, Raboot & Cinderace

Individual Rankings: Scorbunny #14, Raboot #8, Cinderace #15
Art: MapaHaruka (DeviantArt)
No, it wasn’t intentional to have all three of the Galar starters appear right next to each other in these rankings. As if we’d have the foresight for those kind of shenanigans!

Cinderace is probably the least jarring of the anthropomorphic fire starters in Pokemon history, and Scorbunny is your typical cute little dude. The real winner here, however, is Raboot, because it looks too cool for school. It’ll probably ask if you want to play hooky, and suggest you give Drizzile a wedgie.

10. Chikorita, Bayleef & Meganium

Individual Rankings: Chikorita #16, Bayleef #9, Meganium #11
Art: Sakurawings1 (DeviantArt)
What is Chikorita, exactly? A pear with a leaf on its head? It’s a series of riddles and one of the most maligned, under-appreciated starters in Pokemon history. We think it’s pretty sweet, though, so it’s cracked the top 10.

The only reason this line doesn’t rank higher is because their schtick — foliage dinosaurs — was done just one generation prior by another contender who may be making its appearance soon.

9. Chimchar, Monferno & Infernape

Individual Rankings: Chimchar #11, Monferno #14, Infernape #6
Art: HappyCrumble (DeviantArt)
Speaking of under-appreciated, Chimchar and it’s chimchums never get any spotlight in the Pokemon echelons, and it’s a damn shame, because they’re quite spectacular.

Infernape in particular just oozes style, and its design references legendary figures like Sun Wukong or Hanuman. Monkey see, monkey do!

8. Treecko, Grovyle & Sceptile

Individual Rankings: Treecko #4, Grovyle #12, Sceptile #14
Art: RoastedStix (DeviantArt)
Somehow, Treecko was the victim of diminishing returns, slipping steadily down the rankings with each evolution that passed. Despite this, they were collectively able to scrape in at 8th, and that’s nothing to sneeze at.

They’re pretty damned cool, but there’s just something a little off about Grovyle and Sceptile that’s hard to distinguish. Perhaps it’s the pollen clumps on Sceptile’s back? That’s definitely an odd choice, making it look like it put its Christmas sweater on backwards. Maybe it is something to sneeze at, after all?

7. Cyndaquil, Quilava & Typhlosion

Individual Rankings: Cyndaquil #8, Quilava #17, Typhlosion #4
Art: SakakiTheMastermind (DeviantArt)
It was hard to leave an impression as the fire starter following the symbolic Charmander line, but Cyndaquil and company do an admirable job. Quilava isn’t quite as memorable as its contemporaries, dropping the whole team from one of the top spots.

Cyndaquil is all kinds of adorable, while Typhlosion is the standout, and one of the best fully evolved starters in the franchise. Wouldn’t you like to have a flaming weasel as your best friend? It’s not as much fun when you light an actual weasel on fire, trust me.

6. Froakie, Frogadier & Greninja

Individual Rankings: Froakie #19, Frogadier #3, Greninja #5
Art: LunarHalo24 (DeviantArt)
Froakie may not be much to look at; this frothy frog seems more like early game fishing fodder than a starter Pokemon, but the rest of its lineage has got it going on. Frogadier is debonair as hell, and its name sounds a bit like ‘froggy dear’, which is fun.

Greninja, of course, gets props for being the king of gen 6’s metagame. Protean Greninja were absolutely everywhere, wiping away the tears of their enemies with their pink scarf. …And yes, we realize that’s its tongue, and the implications behind that.

5. Rowlet, Dartrix & Decidueye

Individual Rankings: Rowlet #9, Dartrix #2, Decidueye #10
Art: Cosmopoliturtle (DeviantArt)
These guys here are an absolute hoot. Rowlet, with its bobbing and rocking. Decidueye with its mysterious demeanor and parallels to the Green Arrow.

But if you want the top of the pops, look no further than Dartrix. Its Pokedex entry describes it as ‘something of a dandy’, and claims that it’s sometimes too busy cleaning itself to bother with battling. That is equal parts hilarious and darling.

4. Squirtle, Wartortle & Blastoise

Individual Rankings: Squirtle #5, Wartortle #1, Blastoise #8
Art: evecat05 (DeviantArt)
The fact that the Kanto starters are all residing near the pinnacle of these rankings is enough for us to know we’ll be accused of being genwunners; the communities scoffing as their many chins waggle in the soft autumn breeze.

But it’s not our fault that their designs were so damned pristine. Blastoise as a standalone is iconic, but we can’t help but be drawn to the rudder-eared Wartortle. It ranked #1 among middle evolutions for a reason.

3. Litten, Torracat & Incineroar

Individual Rankings: Litten #2, Torracat #6, Incineroar #2
Art: fox-song (DeviantArt)
Alright, so we may have derided Delphox for its obtuse design, making our anointment of Incineroar as the second best final evolution seem hypocritical. But it’s a WRESTLING KITTY. That’s glorious and uproarious.

Meanwhile, Litten is the most snuggly of all the snuggly starters, while Torracat can leave a dead bird on our doorstep any day of the week.

2. Bulbasaur, Ivysaur & Venusaur

Individual Rankings: Bulbasaur #1, Ivysaur #5, Venusaur #3
Art: viowl (DeviantArt)
The inner Bulbasaur apologist in me wants to push this family straight to pole position on the podium, but we must keep ourselves impartial as best we can.

The helpful yet neglected Bulbasaur is the quintessential Pokemon design, and its progression from tiny onion frog to mighty rafflesia dinosaur is as indelible an evolutionary chain as has ever been seen in the franchise.

1. Charmander, Charmeleon & Charizard

Individual Rankings: Charmander #3, Charmeleon #4, Charizard #1
Art: Hodremlin (DeviantArt)
It may feel underwhelming to have the most obvious candidate claim victory, but you’ve still gotta play the game to find out. We don’t just hand the Lombardi Trophy to the Patriots every season, do we?

Charmander, with its tail blazing, is synonymous with Pokemon, and Charmeleon is a badass, to boot. But this family (and the Pokemon world as a whole) is lorded over by the #1 fully evolved Pokemon in these rankings, the gargantuan Charizard. It’s second in the series’ pecking order to Pikachu alone, and lo and behold, it has made its mark yet again.

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