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Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet were announced last week with the reveal of Generation 9’s starters: Sprigatito, Fuecoco and Quaxly. New starters means new discussions around them as my colleague Tyler made a tier list with all of them.

However, his choices are awful; ranking Turtwig in the lowest tier is a terrible mistake. As a result I have to write this story in order to show an improved tier list of all 27 starters.

S-tier Pokémon starters

  • Mudkip
  • Piplup

Mudkip and Piplup are the best Pokémon starters. Before you call me out on water-type bias, please look my D-tier. They’re simply extremely cute and that’s what Pokémon starters need to be good at, because they want you to choose them. They do slightly look like animals, but they also have their own color schemes, patterns and features. They’re well designed Pokémon overall. They look familiar to what you can see in the real world, yet you can clearly see they’re Pokémon.

Both are blue, indicating their types well, but with other slight colors that make them stand out. Just like a good outfit, you don’t want more than three colors, but you also don’t want to have a single one. Ah maybe I should go to university exams with a Mudkip cosplay now. Mudkip is so perfect I would still look good. If Wooloo was a starter, he would also be in this tier.

A-tier Pokémon starters

  • Bulbasaur
  • Charmander
  • Squirtle
  • Cyndaquill
  • Totoadile
  • Treeco
  • Chimchar
  • Sprigatito

Honestly Generation 1 starters are very hard to rank. I started playing Pokémon with the Blue version and Squirtle was my first starter ever. I like all three a lot and they defined what Pokémon starters are. However, they’re not perfect. I think that both Squirtle and Charmander are slightly too simple. Squirtle is cute, I like the colors, but he looks a bit too much like a turtle. Charmander has a cool feature with fire on top of his tail and how he dies if the fire is extinguished, but other than that he’s very simple. Bulbasaur is cooler and more unique than his brothers, but he doesn’t look good enough to be S-tier. All three remain really good, but they’re imperfect.

The other Pokémon on this list are also extremely very nice, they are unique, they look like Pokémon. All of them are cute with their own features.

B-tier Pokémon starters

  • Chicorita
  • Torchic
  • Tepig
  • Turtwig
  • Fuecoco
  • Quaxly
  • Rowlet

Chikorita was my first starter when I played Generation 2, but this Pokémon defines well my B-tier: The good and bad aspects of those Pokémon make up for each other. Chikorita’s features are pretty cool, but his shape is ugly. Torchic is cute, but he’s way too simple; he lacks something special. Turtwig and Tepig are similar. They actually have nice features like Tepig’s tail, or Turtwig’s leaves, but they’re lacking in the cutesy aspect. Rowlet is a simple bird, but how he can completely turn his head is very cool.

Fuecoco and Quaxly are great additions. I wonder how they will grow on me, but for now they look pretty unique and different. This is both good and bad because I wouldn’t be certain about calling them Pokémon on first sight, especially in Fuecoco’s case. However, I’m expecting them to have more personality than the average starter.

C-tier Pokémon starters

  • Scorbunny
  • Fennekin
  • Litten
  • Sobble
  • Chespin

I don’t really like them. That’s it.

Okay, okay, I won’t get away like this, but what you have to understand is that some of these are just too complicated for my taste. The two that aren’t, Sobble and Litten, I don’t think have well integrated features. Litten’s feature, on his cheeks, feel very random and not well integrated. Sprigatito (A-tier) is now a better cat because he looks more natural. Sprigatito’s features fit in well the design, just like Mudkip’s cheeks.

D-tier Pokémon starters

  • Oshawott
  • Froakie
  • Snivy
  • Popplio
  • Grookey

Some of those starters have nice evolution, especially Froakie. But we’re rating first stage Pokémon here, so that doesn’t matter. These Pokémon are ugly. Oshawott is a failed Piplup; both have the same shape, but Oshawott looks like a clown. Froakie looks way too goofy too, and it’s not his intent. All those starters probably like staying at a professor’s lab, because I don’t see why anyone would choose them. If my shampoo was a starter Pokémon, it would be in this starters tier list.

I really want to like Grookey. He has cool features and I should maybe rate him higher for consistency, but his muzzle completely ruins it for me.

If my justifications don’t make any sense, well, I totally agree. Yet there’s nothing you can do to change my Pokémon starters tier list. You could make yours with tiermaker though. What’s for sure is that I’m looking forward to play Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet. But I’m not decided on who my starter will be yet.