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Pokémon Legends Arceus guide: Which is the best starter?

Is Cyndaquil, Rowlet, or Oshawott the best starter?

Rowlet, Cyndaquil, and Oshawott on some red and gold carpeting Image: Game Freak/Nintendo via Polygon
Julia Lee (she/her) is a guides producer, writing guides for games like The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and Genshin Impact. She helped launch the Rift Herald in 2016.

Choosing your Pokémon Legends: Arceus starter between Cyndaquil, Rowlet, and Oshawott is just as important as it is in other Pokémon games. Your first Pokémon will evolve into a powerful ally that you will probably want to keep using, so it’s important that you pick one that you like. Our Pokémon Legends: Arceus starter guide will help you pick your beloved starter Pokémon and show what they can turn into.

In Pokémon Legends: Arceus, your starter Pokémon will evolve into a special Hisuian version of its usual evolution, complete with a new design and typing.

  • Cyndaquil evolves into Hisuian Typhlosion, a ghost- and fire-type.
  • Rowlet evolves into Hisuian Decidueye, a grass- and fighting-type.
  • Oshawott evolves into Hisuian Samurott, a water- and dark-type. You can see what they look like below.
Pokémon trainers standing in front of Hisuian Typhlosion, Decidueye, and Samurott Graphic: Julia Lee/Polygon | Image sources: Game Freak/Nintendo via Polygon

Normally, the difficulty of a Pokémon game shifts, depending on which starter you pick. Since you don’t have a wide variety of Pokémon at your disposal in the early stages of the game, the first few big battles may be rough and this is no exception in Pokémon Legends: Arceus.

Rather than gym leaders, you’ll take on Noble Pokémon — big, frenzied bosses. The first one, Kleavor, is bug- and rock-type. The second one, Lilligant, is grass- and fighting-type, and the third one, Hisuian Arcanine, is fire- and rock-type.

That being said, the water-type Oshawott is strong against two out of three of those bosses, fire-type Cyndaquil is strong against one of them, and grass-type Rowlet is strong against ... none of them. If you’re looking for a smooth start, Oshawott is a good pick. If you’re looking for a challenge, go with Rowlet.

Ultimately, you should just pick whichever Pokémon you like. You can find counters for the Noble Pokémon and get past them without even battling, so go with whatever starter your heart desires.

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