Wait, sorry, I have to write more words than that? Fine.
The 2022 release of Pokémon Legends: Arceus was shown off earlier this week, during the latest Pokémon Presents, but we already knew that the game would feature three returning starters: Oshawott for the Water type, Rowlet for the Grass type, and Cyndaquil for the Fire type.
We strongly suspect that the three choices were based on “who does everyone love that isn’t the original three starters”, but we’re still a little sad to see Chikorita snubbed like this. Then again, the choice of these three in particular could also perhaps be a reference to the historical setting — Oshawott is a samurai, Rowlet is an archer, and Cyndaquil evolves into Typhlosion, whose name comes from “typhoon” in English and the word for “shogunate” in Japanese.
Still, we’re almost definitely going to be picking up multiple copies of Legends across the Nintendo Life team, and with months to wait until we actually get our Pokémitts on it, we’re left only to prepare. So, which of the three new/old starters should we pick?
Cyndaquil seems like an easy choice. After all, in real life, fire is WAY more dangerous than water and grass, and Cyndaquil has the badass final evo of Typhlosion, who has the highest total base stats of the three final evolutions. Typhlosion has pretty good Speed and Special Attack stats, too — although as a pure Fire type, all of Cyndaquil’s line is weak to Ground, Rock, and Water attacks, which is going to make the first gym a tricky one.
Still, the Cyndaquil line is very cute all the way through, and it’s based on honey badgers and porcupines. It’s hard not to love these fiery lil guys!
Rowlet is objectively the cutest of the three, because he is both an owl and an orb. As a Grass/Flying type, he’s also the only dual-type starter of the three, evolving eventually into the powerful combination of Grass/Ghost with Decidueye — that dual typing may well give you a headstart in the early game, and also, you’ll always have a companion with HM02 Fly.
Rowlet’s final form is a fairly good option for trainers who want a bit more of an all-rounder, with high numbers in Attack, Special Attack, and Special Defense, but that dual typing also gives him the most weaknesses of the three, with double damage from Flying, Ghost, Dark, Ice, and Fire types.
Also, Decidueye is whatever the opposite of a glow-up is. What happened to my sweet spherical boy??
Oshawott is an otter, and that’s pretty great. He’s also even better than Rowlet as an all-rounder choice, with pretty balanced stats and few type weaknesses. However, Oshawott’s total base stats are the lowest of all Water-type Pokémon in the series, so you may struggle to gain momentum in the first few hours of the game.
Eventually, you’ll end up with Samurott, a samurai sea lion, who looks like a majestic old man. His leg armour is made of swords, his helmet is also made of swords, and sea lions are terrifying, cool, and very loud. He’s basically a big, noisy wet dog with swords.
Of course, there’s no right or wrong answer. I personally choose all my starters based on cuteness, so I’ll be going with an unevolved Rowlet for the entire game — but what’s your pick?
Vote in the poll below, and let us know your reasons in the comments!