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The Casual Gaymer: Which Pokemon starter is your favorite?

Of Rattatas and rankings.

Welcome to another edition of “The Casual Gaymer!” This is a weekly column from AiPT! Gaming in which I’ll share my thoughts, questions, and concerns about video games and the gaming industry as a queer person with limited free time. Missed last week’s edition where I got nostalgic about Azeroth and why I can never go back to World of Warcraft? Al diel shala! This week, I am not going to quote the lyrics to the original Pokémon theme song. As a species, we need to evolve past this. There is other material the use when producing funny Pokémon #content. Quit being a lazy Snorlax. See! It’s not hard! There’s like 800 pocket monsters you can make jokes out of.

Oh yeah, we’re talking about Pokémon this week. We got to see new starters! Nintendo’s latest Direct treated us to a Pokemon Sword and Shield trailer showing off the new region and which perfect little creatures we can hone into perfect IV killing machines. Players will get to choose between fire type Scorbunny, grass type Grookey, or water type Sobble. In celebration of this news, I’ve decided to work the new starters into my ranking of all the starter Pokémon in the series. I’ll only be working with the first form of each starter Pokémon, so read on for my ranking from worst to best. It was a struggle to consider these Pokés based on their beginning form alone and not let their later evolutions inform my choices, but I used Endurance and she was super effective. I will not be taking notes, comments, critiques, or battle challenges based on my rankings here today, thank you.

Oh my god, there are 26 starter Pokemon alone now. Alright, buckle in.

26. Chimchar

First, but least, Chimchar. The design just does nothing for me and the fiery tale feels tacked on.

25. Grookey

What can I say? I’m not into primates. Though I’m excited to see this little friend join the starters, I’m afraid this one will have to go to my rival in Sword or Shield.

24. Oshawott

This design manages to feel too busy for me? I might be the shell.

23. Torchic

While Oshawott was too busy, Torchic is too plain. Just a bird. That’s all.

22. Piplup

Again, these birds are too plain! Very cute, of course, but I need more passion, more fire.

21. Tepig

Hey, a fire type! Tepig’s ears and tail add just enough to make me happy without looking too busy.

20. Totodile

A good child. A little on the plain side, but with enough charisma in the eyes and smile.

19. Scorbunny

This seems to be a lot of people’s pick for Sword and Shield and my only non-issue kind of issue is that it looks a little more akin to Digimon than Pokemon. Otherwise, what a cutie!

18. Cyndaquil

This was my starter in Gold and Crystal! If you haven’t noticed already, a certain someone else ended up ranking higher, but I have some nostalgia for this bean. Love the fiery back.

17. Chespin

Another very good child Pokémon. The little hat is too cute and they exude personality.

16. Froakie

Oh wow, another Gen 6! Froakie and Chespin are low-key tied, but I will almost always pick a frog over a rodent.

15. Litten

And I will almost always choose a cat over a frog! We love a Hot Topic-shopping cutie.

14. Charmander

What a goblin. Very cute. Extinguish the tail and they die? Charmander is serving vulnerability and I’m here for it.

13. Popplio

Popplio has talent, charisma, uniqueness, and nerve! I would’ve listed those in the same order RuPaul does, but this is a family column today.

12. Eevee

Limitless potential. Very fluffy. Cute face. Small. Need I go on? I hope we get a new Eeveelution in Gen 8.

11. Treecko

Look at those tails! Those eyes! A cool cucumber and the Poké I chose back in the good old days of Ruby version.

10. Snivy

Category is chic, ready for the runway, better than you. That collar! I have to stan.

9. Squirtle

A classic. The original perfect, young, round one. Throw a pair of sunglasses on there? Iconic.

8. Turtwig

The turtles ended up close together! Probably because their so cute! Look at that little sprout and that cute little face! Love it.

7. Sobble

Can you tell this is my pick for Gen 8? This anxious little friend has earned my love, trust, and devotion. The little hands!

6. Pikachu

I actually used to resent Pikachu for being so overexposed on all the merchandise, but I’ve come to appreciate how adorable this spraky mouse is. I love the triumphant “Pika!” heard in a lot of the trailers for Pokémon related stuff.

5. Chikorita

I cannot lie, a lot of my affection comes from an iconic tweet. I know I said this was a family column today, so I’ll just say…google “thiccorita.” It’s safe for work, but…someone needed to log off and go to church. Anyway, memes aside, the high pony? Iconic.

4. Mudkip

So I didn’t know Mudkip was a meme until years after the fact? That’s so ugly, because this child? This child? Perfect. Those cheeks!

3. Bulbasaur

A classic for a reason. Bulba doesn’t need you to die for them or protect them because they will die for you. They will protect you. I look at Bulbasaur and my worries go away. I feel relaxed and at ease. That wide smile pays my rent and waters my crops.

2. Rowlet

When I saw this Pokémon I lost my mind. A perfectly round, small and handsome star. The bowtie reminds me of that owl that loves to sing-a about the moon-a and the June-a and the spring-a. Rowlet spun it’s head around to look at me as I decided what to do with my turn in battle and stole my heart.

1. Fennekin

The perfect blend of chic and cute. The perfect proportions toeing the line between outrageous and realistic. Those tufts of fur in the ears. Eyeliner? Fierce. Poise? Fierce. But holding a place in my heart before any other starter? …she’s fierce as well.

Well, there’s my ranking of the starters! Which starter Poké is your favorite? I’ll round out this edition with a tweet I posted regarding the new Detective Pikachu trailer we got the day before the Direct. I think it shows how devoted I am to the real issues not only in gaming journalism, but with regards to the integrity of cinema as an art form.

Okay, I’m going back to my Pokéball now. Don’t even try it with that Pursuit crap; I am not the one!




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