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Just like in any of the other mainline Pokémon games, the initial starter Pokémon pick is perhaps the most important choice a player can make. There are many different reasons why to pick a starter Pokémon from looks, type and competitive viability.

Here is a guide to what makes each of the starters stand out to help make that decision much easier. Warning, spoilers for each of the starter Pokémon evolutions are listed in this guide!

Quaxly

Provided by Nintendo.

From a looks perspective, Quaxly is a cute water duck. After all, it is the Duckling Pokémon. But just like almost every single basic starter Pokémon, Quaxly’s evolutions turn the cute Pokemon into something entirely different.

Quaxly evolves into Quaxwell, the Practicing Pokémon. Quaxwell turns in the cute for cool as it sees an uptick in physical attack stat.

And then there is the final evolution of the Quaxly line, Quaquaval. Quaquaval is the Dancer Pokémon who picks up Fighting as its secondary type next to its already Water-Type. The Water/Fighting Ququaval excels in physical attack rocking a respectable 120 base attack stat. Its next highest stats are a three-way tie between HP, Special Attack and Speed at 85. Its worst stat is Special Defense at 75.

As for abilities, the Quaxly line comes with Torrent which essentially boosts Water-type moves when the Pokémon is low HP. But the hidden ability for Quaxly is Moxie which is one of the best abilities in the game. Moxie says if a Pokémon knocks out another, its attack stat is boosted which makes Quaquaval a scary sweeper.

For players that like the cute duck and are ok with it turning into a cool Dancing Physical attacker, then Quaxly is the starter for you.

Fuecoco

Provided by Nintendo.

The small chunky Fire Croc Pokémon, Fuecoco definitely excels in the cute department as the first form of the Fire-type starter line. As it evolves into Crocalor, players will start to see where the strengths lie. Crocalor sees an uptick in Special Attack and Defense along with a pretty high base HP stat. Its final evolution, Skeledirge, is straight up a crocodile on all fours.

The Singer Pokémon, Skeledirge, is very bulky. Skeledirge’s best stat is Special Attack which is to be expected of a Fire/Ghost Pokémon. But its next best stats, which are very close to its 110 base Special Attack are Skeledirge’s HP and Defense. Both are within 10 points of its Special Attack. But while Skeledirge is indeed bulky, it pays dearly with a very poor speed stat of 66.

The Fuecoco line comes with the ability Blaze. which increases Fire-type move’s power when the Pokémon is at low HP. But it’s hidden ability is fitting with the ability, Unaware. This ability ignores any stat changes on the defending Pokémon in battle which is very solid. For Fire starter fans looking for a bulky special attacker, Fuecoco is the pick.

Sprigatito

Provided by Nintendo.

And then there is the Grass Cat Pokémon, Sprigatito. Cat lovers will love this line as all three evolutions are essentially just trickster cats. Although the two evolutions do stand on two legs, the cat resemblance is still obviously there.

Meowscarada is similar to Skeledirge in the way that it has a couple of high stats. And it’s also similar to Quaquaval in the way that it has a high base attack stat. It’s not quite as high as Quaquaval coming in at 110 instead of 120. But where Mewoscarada shines is in it’s spead. A whopping 123 makes Meowscarada’s speed higher than any other single stat on among the three starter Pokemon.

The Sprigitito line comes with Overgrow which is the same ability as the other two lines execpt with Grass-type moves. But the kicker is in it’s hidden ability, Protean. There was a time where Protean was the best ability in the entire game but it has been nerfed coming into this game. But even in a nerfed state, being able to change the Pokemon’s type, even if it’s only once per switch in is very powerful. For players wanting speed on their physical attacker, Sprigatito is the go to.