How to choose your starter in Pokémon Sword and Shield
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So, you just began to play Pokémon Sword or Shield, and you’re ready to choose your starting Pokémon. But how do you know which one is the best to take? Let’s take a look at the starters, what they evolve into, and the pros and cons of each of them.

As with every Pokémon game, there are three starters. In Sword and Shield, the Grass-type starter is Grookey, the Fire-type is Scorbunny, and the Water-type is Sobble. Let’s take an in-depth look at each of them and how to choose one.


Grookey is a cute little monkey Pokémon with a drumstick. It evolves into Thwackey at level 16 and Rillaboom at level 35. Thwackey gains a second drumstick, while Rillaboom is a gorilla with a drum and two drumsticks. All three evolutions are mono Grass-type.

Grookey is not the best pick for an efficient playthrough. As a Grass-type, it’s only good against the Water-type gym and the Rock-type gym (which is only in Pokémon Sword). It also lacks the high base Speed stat that the other two starters have. It does have a high Attack stat and it’s more defensive, however, so it’s still a reliable option. Rillaboom also has a great special move in Drum Beating, which helps it outspeed its opponents by lowering their Speed.


Scorbunny is a bunny Pokémon that looks like a budding soccer player. It evolves to Raboot at level 16 and then Cinderace at level 35. Raboot looks like a young soccer player, and Cinderace looks like an all-star. They are all mono Fire-type.

Scorbunny is probably the best starter for an easy and fast playthrough from start to finish. It has good matchups in the first gym, which helps it level quickly. It and its evolutions also have great Speed and Attack stats. Pyro Ball is probably one of the best Fire-type moves in the game, and only Cinderace can learn it.


Sobble is a baby chameleon Pokémon who is often crying. It evolves into Drizzile, who looks like an emo chameleon, at level 16. Drizzile evolves into Inteleon at level 35, which resembles a chameleon spy. All three of them are mono Water-type.

The Sobble evolutions are the only Special Attackers of the three starters. Like Cinderace, they have great Speed. Sobble and Drizzile don’t do too well in the first two gyms, but they are easily the best choices for the last five gyms. Inteleon also has access to some great coverage moves like Ice Beam, Air Slash, and Dark Pulse, which it can learn through Technical Records (TRs).

Crying Sobble

So, which starter you choose should depend on what you want. If you want a fast and easy playthrough from start to finish, Scorbunny is the best choice. Grookey is a better choice for you if you want a bulkier starter who is less likely to get knocked out from one attack. Sobble is the best choice if you want a versatile starter with a wide movepool. Ultimately, the choice is up to you. You only get to choose once though, so choose wisely!

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