Which Starter Should You Pick in Pokemon Sword & Shield

Pokemon Sword & Shield is finally here and it’s presenting another colorful world for players to explore. Just like every core entry, players will start the game and be given a choice of which starter Pokemon they want to train. Each one has two evolutions and will either be Grass, Fire, or Water-type. Unlike previous generations, the final forms of each of these Pokemon do not include a secondary type.

It’s important to know that there’s no “right” choice for which starter you should pick. If you want to be apart of Team Sobble then make sure to grab that adorable little lizard. Sword & Shield isn’t especially punishing if you pick a specific starter over another. That being said, let’s take a look at the final forms of each starter Pokemon and what they offer.


Image from IGN.com

The final form of Scorbunny, Cinderace focuses on Speed and basic Attacks. He boasts a Speed of 119, making him the second-fastest final evolution of the starter Pokemon. Inversely, Cinderace’s Defense and Special Defense stats are quite low. This makes Cinerace a fast, hard-hitting Pokemon that cannot take a lot of punishment. His signature move is Pyroball, which is a Fire attack that deals 120 damage, costs 5 PP, and boasts a 90% accuracy rating. If this attack hits there is a chance for the Burn status effect to be inflicted.


Pokemon Inteleon

Image from IGN.com

Another speedy Pokemon, Inteleon is the final form of the adorable Sobble. This Water lizard is all about Speed and Special Attacks. The former has a base stat of 120 with the latter clocking in at a whopping 125. Much like Cinderance, Inteleon is quite weak with both his Defense and Special Defense stats coming in at 65. He does have some modest Attack power at 85, but you’ll want to solely focus on Special Attacks with this Pokemon. His signature mode is called Snipe Shot, which allows Inteleon to ignore any effects that would draw in attacks.


Pokemon Rillaboom

Image from IGN.com

Grookey’s final evolution is also the beefiest of these three thanks to his 100 HP, 90 Defense, 70 Special Defense, and 125 Attack. Rillaboom also has a decent Speed stat at 85 and a rather low base Special Attack at 60. Of the three Signature Moves, Rillabooms can definitely be the most impactful. Dubbed “Drum Beating,” this attack will lower the afflicted Pokemon’s speed an entire tier. With an Accuracy of 100%, Drum Beating can be a devastating opener that can cripple a foe’s Pokemon, giving you an advantage.

Of the three, we’d say that Rillaboom is probably the easiest to use if you’re looking to just casually play through the game. His signature move is great in almost any matchup, but you’ll want to make sure to build a team that can take advantage of this speed advantage. Inteleon is certainly the most skill-intensive and Cinderace is a nice middle ground between the two.

Yet, as we said in the beginning unless you’re looking to play competitively all three of the starters are great choices. It ultimately comes down to your understanding of how to play to their strengths and utilize their specific abilities.

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