Gaming

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Indigo Disk Returning Starters Tier List

Highlights

  • Incineroar is the best starter Pokemon added in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet’s Indigo Disk DLC due to its versatility and strong moveset.
  • Venusaur and Primarina are in the A-tier and are strong options in the current meta, but not as powerful as Incineroar.
  • Serperior is the only B-tier starter due to its niche use of the Contrary ability, while other starters fall into the lower C and D tiers.


Pokemon Scarlet and Violet’s Indigo Disk DLC brought every single generation of starter Pokemon back together, a feat which hasn’t been done in a mainline series game since Sun and Moon. Seeing some old faces make their way onto the newest Nintendo console is certainly nostalgic, and a tradition that the developers at Game Freak hopefully maintain moving forward. Despite some of these Pokemon being staples of competitive play, most of them are not as powerful as trainers may remember during childhood play-throughs.

With Regulation F kicking off, a few returning starter Pokemon in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet are worth using to climb the online ranked ladder. Many of them, however, fall short and will struggle to keep up in this hyper-offensive meta.

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S-Tier

Incineroar Anime

The S-Tier is an exclusive club among starter Pokemon, and Incineroar is its only member. The Fire and Dark-type from Alola is one of the most versatile Pokemon in Regulation F, serving defensive and offensive roles for trainers. Its Hidden Ability, Intimidate, lowers the Attack stats of both opposing Pokemon upon merely switching in. The Clear Amulet held item, which prevents a Pokemon’s stats from being lowered, has risen in usage simply due to Incineroar’s presence.

It also has access to Fake Out, an incredibly useful move that almost always moves first and flinches opponents. Parting Shot, a pivoting move that lowers an opponent’s Attack and Special Attack stats before switching out, helps provide defensive support to Incineroar’s partners. Furthermore, its base Attack stat is a respectable 115, meaning it can pick up knockouts if trained accordingly.

A-Tier

Venusaur and Primarina are the only Pokemon in A-Tier. They are strong options in the current meta but not quite at Incineroar’s level.

Venusaur fulfills a unique role in Regulation F. Its power does not lie in its stats, but rather its Hidden Ability, Chlorophyll. This doubles Venusaur’s Speed stat in harsh sunlight, making it a perfect partner for Pokemon like Torkoal and Ninetales who have the Ability Drought. It also has access to Sleep Powder, which helps it put opponents to sleep before they can make a move. Most importantly, Venusaur is one of the few counters to Rapid-Strike Urshifu, as it resists both Water and Fighting-type attacks and can easily knock it out with powerful Grass-type attacks such as Leaf Storm.

The Water and Fairy-type Pokemon Primarina is a formidable Special Attacker. With one of the best offensive and defensive type combinations in the game, the Gen 7 Pokemon can run a diverse array of sets. The Life Orb held item works well for immediate damage, but it can also run Calm Mind to increase its already incredible Special Attack and Special Defense stats to deal more damage and endure more hits. Like Venusaur, this Pokemon also counters Rapid-Strike Urshifu and can threaten to knock it out with its Fairy-type attacks. Common Grass types like Rillaboom can take it out with ease, so a Poison or Fire Tera-Type is optimal for Primarina.

B-Tier

Serperior as it appears in the Pokemon Black and White anime

The Grass-type starter Pokemon from Black and White is the sole member of the B-Tier. Serperior’s base stats are unfortunately mediocre, as its Attack and Special Attack sit at a measly 75. Its Hidden Ability, Contrary, is where it can truly find a niche.

Contrary reverses all stat changes that a Pokemon undergoes. This means that if Serperior is Intimidated by Incineroar, for example, its Attack stat will increase rather than decrease. While this may sound too circumstantial to see consistent results, the Grass-type has access to the move Leaf Storm, which harshly lowers a Pokemon’s Special Attack stat after use. Contrary using Leaf Storm would therefore double its Special Attack stat after use. Unfortunately, the Gen 5 starter Pokemon’s moves lack the proper type coverage, meaning trainers will probably need to commit to Terastalizing Serperior.

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C-Tier

The C-Tier consists of Pokemon that can be used to some level of success. Yet, they require far more work for most trainers to utilize.

The Gen 1 Water-type Blastoise is by no means weak; it just struggles with finding an identity in the current meta. Its defensively oriented stats would make it an ideal supportive Pokemon, but it lacks the proper Ability to find a consistent place on teams. It does have access to great moves such as Fake Out and Yawn, but it is simply outclassed by other Water-type Pokemon like Rapid Strike-Urshifu and Wellspring-Ogerpon.

The Gen 2 Water-type Feraligatr suffers the same fate as its Gen 1 counterpart. With a decent base 105 Attack stat and moves like Dragon Dance, it could make an impact on the right team. It does have access to the Ability Sheer Force, which increases the strength of its moves at the cost of their secondary effects, but its stats are not strong enough to justify using it over other Water types.

Sceptile, the Gen 3 Grass-type Pokemon, has some intriguing tools, but again, its stats leave much to be desired. It’s fast with a base 120 Speed, but lacks enough offensive pressure to be used successfully. Where it could find a niche is with the move Shed Tail, which allows Sceptile to set up a Substitute and pass it on to a partner Pokemon in the back. Even still, Cyclizar is a better fit for this role due to its Ability, Regenerator, which heals it upon switching out.

Gen 3’s Fire-type Blaziken also unfortunately lands in the C-Tier. Its Hidden Ability Speed Boost does at least allow it to find some sort of niche in Regulation F, as it can Protect for one turn to keep it safe and get an increase to its Speed stat. It’s too defensively frail to effectively make use of this strategy, however. Furthermore, tons of Pokemon such as Urshifu and Iron Boulder completely bypass Protect and outspeed Blaziken, making its life quite difficult.

The final Gen 3 starter Pokemon, Swampert, has great defensive typing in Water and Ground, leaving it with a sole Grass-type weakness. Unfortunately, however, it does not provide offensive pressure whatsoever and loses almost instantly to Rillaboom’s priority Grass-type attack, Grassy Glide.

D-Tier

Finally, the D-Tier includes Pokemon that really shouldn’t be utilized on any competitive teams. Meganium, the starter Pokemon from Gold and Silver, has almost nothing to make it stand out from other Grass types. Its offensive stats sit at a mediocre 82 and 83, and while it does get access to Swords Dance now to double its Attack, it just isn’t enough to allow it to deal big damage. Its defensive stats are fine, but other defensive Grass-type anchors such as Ogerpon and Amoonguss are much better options.

The Gen 5 Pokemon Emboar simply cannot keep up with other Fire types in the meta. Its massive base 123 Attack stat is appealing, but both its defensive stats are too weak, making it a mediocre glass cannon. Moreover, its Speed stat is a terrible 65, meaning it can’t effectively fulfill the role of a sweeper properly under Tailwind or Trick Room.

Starter Pokemon Excluded From The List

The following starter Pokemon were excluded from the list, as they had been available in Scarlet and Violet before the release of the Indigo Disk DLC.

  • Charizard
  • Typhlosion
  • Torterra
  • Infernape
  • Empoleon
  • Chesnaught
  • Delphox
  • Greninja
  • Rillaboom
  • Cinderace
  • Inteleon

pokemon scarlet and violet games

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet

Released
November 18, 2022

ESRB
E For Everyone Due To Mild Fantasy Violence

How Long To Beat
31½ Hours

Metascore
72

Antonio Josse

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