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Friday, November 4, 2022

Team Grass-type in the Pokémon Partner Splatfest

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Utility and cuteness.

Let's be up-front: I've already written on KoopaTV that of Grass, Fire, and Water-types in the Pokémon series, “I get the impression that Grass is the least popular starter type. I mean, I always kind of knew that, but oh well. Grass has always been my favourite starter type.” I literally have a byline and author avatar called “TURTWIG VON KOOPA”. And I've always thought it's a biased travesty that Squirtle plus Greninja and Charizard plus Incineroar are playable in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate... while Ivysaur is the only Grass type. (Rillaboom when?)

So when Splatoon 3's Splatfest happening next week (with voting opened now) between November 11 and November 13 asks...

Splatoon 3 Splatfest what's your partner Pokémon type team grass fire water
...It's pretty obvious I'd choose Grass-type.

This IS an obvious tie-in to Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet releasing a week after this Splatfest happens, BUT the prompt isn't limited to just Sprigatito, Fuecoco, or Quaxly. If it was, I think I've also made it clear I'd pick Quaxly. But this is asking holistically. See Shiver's follow-up clarification, because Frye and Big Man didn't seem to get it.

Splatoon 3 Splatfest Splatcast Shiver strongest or coolest best Pokémon partner type
Strongest would be Fire. Coolest? ...Might also be Water, if you take it literally.
But best? That's more subjective.

Statistically, the average Fire-type has higher attacking stats than the average Water-type or Grass-type. The average Water-type has higher defence stats than the average Grass-type or Fire-type. Grass-types are in the middle (but, on average, the slowest). That isn't to say that Grass-types are all-arounders. The Grass type is not a good attacking type, and it's the most-resisted type in all of Pokémon, with seven types resisting Grass attack moves. (Though sometimes some Grass types can overcome that with sheer power, like Tapu Bulu in Sun or Moon when Grassy Terrain gave a 1.5x boost to Grass attacks, or Contrary Serperior with Leaf Storm.) Grass has an impressive four resistances...but five weaknesses. Their strength comes from their utility and team support. And, of course, cuteness.

Pokémon starters basic stage tier list fire grass water KoopaTV Turtwig
I have a very clear Grass > Water > Fire trend.

I like Grass Pokémon as my starters mostly for design purposes. They're cute, they're vegan, and leave a positive impact on the environment (especially for Sap Sipper Pokémon like Miltank and Bouffalant...and Girafarig). They tend to make going through the regions more difficult due to poor offense, while people with Water and Fire-types can try to steamroll (pun not intended) the region by putting all of their focus into training just their starter. But Grass-types specialise in support moves. The only “status”-type Fire moves? Sunny Day and Will-O-Wisp (which are both good, don't get me wrong). Water has a few more than that, but they're not great. (Rain Dance is fine. ...Then it drops down to the likes of... um... Aqua Ring and Life Dew.) But Grass? Grass has some of THE best status-type moves in the game, including (but not limited to) Spore (100% sleep move), Strength Sap (an overpowered healing move that heals the user's HP by the value of the target's Attack stat, while also lowering the target's Attack by a stage; this leaves you either healing full health sometimes or your opponent, if a physical attacker, basically can't hurt you), Synthesis (50% healing... more in Sunny Day, less in other weather conditions), Stun Spore and Sleep Powder (75% chance to put your opponent in paralysis or sleep, respectively), Aromatherapy (heals every status condition on your team), Leech Seed (drains 1/8 of your opponent's max HP at the end of every turn and transfers it to you), and Cotton Guard (raises the user's Defense stat by three stages, which is the best stat raising move of its kind). Entire Pokémon are elevated from obscurity and have real competitive niches because of those moves, though some are never learned by a starter Pokémon.

Splatoon 3 Splatfest Splatcast Shiver won both Splatfests relaxing tpe of Pokémon
Ah, I see the rock-paper-scissors pre-release Splatfest is canon.
Shiver also won as Team Gear on the deserted island, which I supported.

I'm fine with my starter Pokémon playing a supporting team role for other Pokémon. I think that's very considerate of them. Starter Pokémon aren't my favourites in any given region anyway (besides Grovyle, but that's entirely due to non-starter spin-off reasons), so that's a fine role.

As for Fire-type Pokémon, something that's bothered me specifically about them is that, because Fire has a role as a starter, people act like they are one of the three main types of Pokémon. Water-types and Grass-types are both in the top three most common types (up there with Normal). Fire-type is not. The Fire-type is substantially more rare; it just HAPPENS to have a rock-paper-scissors relationship with Water and Grass. Dumb people consider it legitimate criticism of the Sinnoh region (and of Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl and their remasters) that the only Fire-type Pokémon available pre-credits are your Fire starter, Chimchar, and Ponyta, and they act like the region is missing critical diversity because of the absence of this one type. They don't complain about missing Pokémon of other types. Just Fire. And it's all because these budding arsonists are given propaganda by each region's Pokémon professor. You don't need a Fire-type to go through your journey. They tend not to offer utility besides melting relatively rare types like Steel and Ice, but there are several, more common ways to deal with those.

Water-types often have lots of Hidden Machines associated with them like Surf, Waterfall, and sometimes even Whirlpool or Dive. Unless you want two Water-types on your team (which... isn't really that bad of a thing, honestly; Water is a solid offensive and defensive type), you probably don't want to load your starter Pokémon with junk HM moves. And since Water Pokémon are everywhere and very common in every region (there's a whole fishing mechanic dedicated to catching some!), options are aplenty. You could say the same about Grass-type Pokémon, but the utility they provide is so extensive you might need multiple to get the full extent. In my Shining Pearl playthrough, three of my twelve Pokémon on my team were Grass-type! (Koopy the cutest Turtwig, Cherri the Cherrim, and Marissa the Roserade.) Grass-types unlock a lot of the fun of Pokémon battles.

Pokémon Shining Pearl Turtwig Cuteness Master Ribbon
And my Grass-type Pokémon partner!

That's why I've picked Team Grass for the Splatfest. I encourage you to do the same.

Oh, by the way. You might see some marketing around this Splatfest implying this is a big “dream” collaboration between Pokémon and Splatoon. Don't forget that this collaboration already happened with the Pokémon Red Version versus Pokémon Blue Version Splatfest. (I supported Blue, which won.) I didn't like that sponsored Splatfests were a thing then because of the immersion that it breaks. I feel the same way now.

Pokémon Splatoon 3 Splatfest partner Pokémon starters Grass-type team
Still, just because I don't like that this Splatfest exists doesn't mean I'll boycott it or anything.
Team Grass for the win!

Which team are you supportive of? Let KoopaTV know in the comments section! And if you're on Team Grass, feel free to schedule some time to play with Ludwig in support of the correct team.

The next Splatfest happened in January 2023, asking about your favourite taste sensation. Koopy and Grass types continue to feature in it.


  1. The next Pokémon to get in will probably be the newest game, or whatever current Pokémon game is out when the next smash comes out. If there's going to be a grass type, they would choose the evolution of Rowlett i think, that one was pretty popular if i remember correctly.

    I have grown to like Oshawott because i got him as my partner in the mystery dungeon games, but his generation is definitely the worst generation of Pokémon starters design wise. Oshawott and Tepig especially look very bland/simple compared to all the others.

    1. According to my tier-list, Snivy by itself prevents Gen 5 from having the worst starter set, similar to how Grookey saves Gen 8.

  2. Grass type is probably the starter type I pick the least. I even stopped going Bulbasaur Gen 1 at some point. But I'll be interested to see how it does in the Splatfest!

  3. BUBBA


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