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The best Temtem to catch early

The four species you should always have in your squad

The best Temtem Image: Crema via Polygon
Jeffrey Parkin (he/him) has been writing video game guides for Polygon for almost seven years. He has learned to love just about every genre of game that exists.

In Temtem, there are currently 76 species of fighting creatures across 41 evolutionary lines for you to capture or start with. Each kind of Temtem has its own set of base stats, techniques, strengths, and weaknesses.

The best Temtem in any given fight depends on what types of Temtem you’re fighting. One that might be great in Deniz might get knocked out instantly in Tucma. And that means the “best” Temtem is extremely subjective and subject to change.

With that said, here’s our list of the objectively best Temtem that you should definitely choose for your squad. We’ll focus on Temtem you can capture early in the game, specifically on Deniz.

Ganki (and Gazuma)

Untamed Ganki will appear very early in your exploration of the Thalassian Cliffs on Deniz. They’re pretty common, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to snag one.

The best Temtem Ganki Image: Crema via Polygon

Ganki don’t have much health at low levels, so they’re a little hard to keep alive early on. But once you get them up to level 7, they’ll learn DC Beam, and that technique will immediately become your go-to attack. After level 30, they’ll learn Electric Storm, which targets both enemies and deals even more damage.

As an Electric type, Ganki are strong against Water and Wind types. Ganki are also Wind type, so they’re strong against Toxic type as well. And that makes them useful in most of the areas you’ll encounter on the first three islands of the Airborne Archipelago.

Get one early, level it up, and it won’t let you down.


Tateru don’t evolve into another species because they are already perfect. These beanbag bunnies make the list not just because they’re useful, but also because they’re also so darn adorable.

The best Temtem Tateru Image: Crema via Polygon

They’re not the strongest, but they’re not weak, either. As Neutral types, they’re not strong against any other type, but they’re also not ineffective. They’re only vulnerable to Mental types. Tateru have one of the higher HP values of the unevolved species — only a few are higher — so they can take a beating.

And that all just means that these potato sack-looking Temtem are dependable. Once you get them to level 10, they’ll learn Heavy Blow which lets them deal a big chunk of damage. They can even learn Noxious Bomb from a Technique Course, making them great against Nature and Water types, too.

Tateru aren’t the flashiest or most powerful Temtem. But they’re consistent and reliable. And they’re adorable.

Umishi (and Ukama)

It’s hard to put a Water type on a best Temtem list. While they’re great against Fire and Earth types, they’re weak to Nature, Electric, and Toxic types. As a rule, you’ll face more enemies that a Water type is weak to than its strong against.

That said, you shouldn’t ignore Umishi. Umishi and their evolution into Ukama are among the fastest Temtem, meaning they’ll consistently attack first.

The best Temtem Umishi Image: Crema via Polygon

At level 14, they’ll get the Water Cannon technique — which can even add Toxic damage if they’re paired with a Toxic ally. They can learn Tsunami as a Technique Course — which adds Wind damage and the Cold condition. And at level 26, they learn Aqua Bullet Hell, which is just a cool name.

Umishi and Ukama aren’t great for every fight, but they’re adaptable. And when they are useful — like in Anak Volcano in Omninesia — they’re indispensable, so they make the list.

Kaku (and Saku) or Swali (and Loali)

We’re picking two different evolutionary lines for our last pick because they’re the same types — Nature, and then Nature and Wind when they evolve — and have many of the same attacks. They’re not identical, but they often serve the same roles in battle.

The best Temtem Kaku Image: Crema via Polygon

You’ll find your first Kaku and Swali pretty early in the game, but their usefulness probably won’t be apparent for a while.

As Nature types, they should be great against Water types, but they won’t learn a Nature type attack until level 11 for Kaku and level 44 for Swali. Where these Temtem are useful is their Toxic and Wind attacks. Both learn Urushiol early, making them the some of the best early Temtem for facing the Nature types in Omninesia.

Much later, in Tucma, Saku and Loali’s Wind attacks make them devastating against the Toxic types you meet. And since all of these species have pretty high speeds, you’ll usually get the first couple attacks in before your enemy gets to go.

Their weaknesses are why these Temtem are at the bottom of the list, though. They’re good in very specific circumstances — against Nature and Toxic types — but those fights are where Kaku and Swali are most vulnerable. They’ll deal a lot of damage, but they’ll take a lot of damage while doing it.

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