The Instigator
Pro (for)
1 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
3 Points

Pokemon: Gen 1 Starters

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/8/2013 Category: Games
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,567 times Debate No: 41478
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (5)
Votes (1)




1) Round one is an acceptance round, so it will be a confirmation round.
2) Round two, three, and four will be argument/refuting of arguments.
3) Round five will be the rebuttal round. So, you cannot start new arguments and counter current arguments. The purpose of round five is to provide a summary of the round and why the voters should vote for you.
4)This is to voters: Please do not put your personal opinions as voting reasons, and only use the material within the debate.

Thank you.

So the case is...
Out of the generation one starter Pokémon, Bulbasaur would be the best pick.
By accepting this debate, you are saying that Charmander or Squirtle are better starters.
Round 1 is acceptance.



Challenge graciously accepted.
I thank my opponent for instigating this debate. I accept the terms and conditions put forth by Pro and will abide by them.
My views are against yours, and hence i will be propounding as to why Bulbasaur is not the best generation 1 starter, and that it's either Charmander or Squirtle.
I eagerly await Pro's arguments.
Debate Round No. 1


To make this debate fair, we will not be comparing them just to each other, but to everything else. So, it would be unfair to say that bulbasaur is not the best because charmander has the advantage.

This is part is only about basic pokemon forms. As a basic pokemon, Bulbasaur has dual stab. It has dual stab in poison and grass. Unlike Squirtle and Charmander, Bulbasaur has dual typing, so it gets dual stab. In the metagame tier of little cup, bulbasaur can be used as a revenge killer, a special wall, or a sweeper wall. These roles are key to a pokemon team. Although Bulbasaur's main use is as a wall, but with the right team to back him up, he can be a wall and a offensive attacker.
Charmander is still hopeless in the metagame tier. Even within little cup, his role is easily overrun by Ponyta or Houndour. Fire types are meant to be able to sweep, but with his weak attack, he cannot do his job and is only left with many weaknesses. Squirtle is better than Charmander, but can not compete with Bulbasaur. But, Tentacool and Shellder can replace Squirtle with doing his role and doing other roles as well. Squirtle's moveset is also not fit for little cup, but in an other tier he would be too weak. So, Bulbasaur comes out better than Squirtle and Charmander in basic form.

This part is only about the stage 1 forms. As a stage one form now, Ivasaur still contains dual stab while the other forms do not. Once again, there is a set advantage. While Ivasaur is in RU, Ivasaur is a higher metagame teir than both others. Charmeleon is yet to be classed within a metagame because he is not in competition for NU, but he cannot be sent to little cup because Charmeleon is not a basic form pokemon. So, Charmeleon is so bad that it is yet to be classed. Wartortle is in NU, and its only purpose is as a spinier, but other pokemon can do its job better.

This part is only about the stage 2 forms. As a stage two form, Venusaur maintains its dual stab. But, Charizard also gets dual stab now. Yet, Blastiose is still only pure water. Venusaur is in the OU tier, Charizard is only in the RU tier and Blastiose is in the UU tier. So, Venusaur comes out a better use then all of them. Since Venusaur is a higher tier than the others, it is safe to say that Venusaur is the better one.

Game Play
Even in the games Blue/Green/LeafGreen/FireRed, Venusaur is able to be the best grass type in the game. The only pokemon that is able to challenge Venusaur is Vileplume. But vileplume can not cover for its weakness. Charizard is easily overrun by Arcanine. And Blastiose is overrun by Slowbro, Starmie, and Gyrados.



First of all, I would like to point out that, appallingly, you've spelled "Ivysaur" wrong. To be unable to spell an object in one's own premise is the kind of thing that severely dents one's credibility.

Moving on, my opponent's arguments about smogon-related analysis are fine, but what I severely disagree with his arguments about the B/G/FR/LG games.
I would like to remind Pro that they are called "starters" for a reason. The main purpose of the starter pokemon is to help the trainer get a good initial stride.

Charizard is easily overrun by Arcanine. And Blastiose is overrun by Slowbro, Starmie, and Gyrados.
Where would I find a Growlithe or a Staryu in the beginning of the game?
And even if I did find a Magikarp, he won't get to Lv30+ in the course of 2 or 3 routes.
On the other hand, I can find an Oddish fairly easy right into the game. Which would mean, according to Pro, that right off the bat, my bulbasaur becomes obsolete.
But vileplume can not cover for its weakness.
I don't understand what Pro means by this. Venusaur and Vileplume are of the exact same type, and hence have the exact same weaknesses.

What I would like to point out is that although Bulbasaur gets a dual STAB (same type attack boost), it is also the starter with the most number of weaknesses in basic form.
Bulbasaur is weak to 4 types - Flying, Fire, Psychic and Ice. It is also strong (defensively) against 5 types.
Squirtle is weak to 2 types - Grass and Electric. Defensively, it is strong against 4 types.
Charmander is weak to 3 types - Ground, Water and Rock. Defensively, it is strong against 6 types.

Therefore, in terms of defense, Bulbasaur has the most weaknesses, and it does not have the most strengths either.

Now we shall see the relative ease in both offense and defense of each of the starter pokemon against the main trainers i.e. the 8 gym leaders and the elite four.

This chart shows the relative ease in offense of each of the starter pokemon against the 12 "leader" trainers:


If you count the number of instances where each of the starters have the upper hand (rows remarked "Super!" and/or "OK"), then we have:

Bulbasaur(and evolutions) - 13
Charmander(mostly Charizard) - 5
Squirtle & Co. - 14
Now, counting the number of instances where the starters are at a disadvantage (rows remarked "Not very effective" and "Bad"), we see that:
Bulbasaur & Co. - 20
Charmander & Co. - 18
Squirtle & Co. - 13

So, offensively, not only squirtle and its evolutions have the most number of advantages, but also the least number of disadvantages.

Now, here is a chart showing defensive statistics against leaders:


Number of instances where the starters have defensive advantages (rows remarked "Not very effective" and "Bad"):
Bulbasaur & Co. - 19
Charmander & Co. - 12
Squirtle & Co. - 11

Number of instances where the starters have defensive disadvantages (rows remarked "Super!" and/or "OK"):
Bulbasaur & Co. - 19
Charmander & Co. - 20
Squirtle & Co. - 6

This shows that although squirtle has few defensive advantages, it has the absolute least number of defensive disadvantages. I would also like to point out that squirtle's defense and sp. defense stats are high and in most cases its defense is "Normal", hence it takes less damage, which is almost as good as having that many defensive advantages.

This has conclusively proved that Squirtle is the best starter against the gym leaders and the elite four.
Hence, Squirtle, and not Bulbasaur would easily be the better choice in B/G/FR/LG gaming.

Source for charts:
Debate Round No. 2


Thank you for your response Con.

The earliest you can find a Growlithe is in Route 7 and 8. This is right after you exit Rock Tunnel, and you are able to dodge all the trainers to get to that patch of grass in route 7 and 8. You get your Growlithe at around level 15-18. And the average team pokemon level around 20-25. So, by going back and fighting those trainers, Growlithe would be on par with the rest of your team. Also, Arcanine has a higher base stat than Charizard. Arcanine is also a better sweeper than Charizard.
Although you will get some of the water types late, this is only a minor down side. There is something called training. The pro is saying that Slowbro, Starmie, and Gyrados are not as good because they are late in game. These pokemon are just as easy to train as any other pokemon. This game was meant for little kids to also play, so the game isn't meant for training to be hard.
Vileplume and Venusaur have the same type, but what matters is the moveset. Venusaur has a larger moveset, so it is able to cover its self more. So, Vileplume is assessable is later game, has a worse movepool than Venusaur, and Venusaur has better stats. In the end, Vileplume is outclassed by Venusaur.
(These are only attacking moves)Bulbasaur has a weakness to 11 flying type moves, 12 fire type moves, 11 psychic moves, and 7 ice moves. But out of the 40 weakness moves, only 23 moves are able to be obtained within B/G/FR/LG games and are not OHKO moves.
Charmander has a weakness to 15 water type moves, 14 ground type moves, and 7 rock move. But out the 36 moves, 32 moves are able to be obtained within B/G/FR/LG games and are not OHKO moves.
Squirtle has weaknesses to 22 grass moves and 11 electric moves. And all of these moves are able to obtained within B/G/FR/LF.
This goes for weaknesses as well. Bulbasaur has the least of amount of weaknesses to moves and has the most amount of resistances to moves.

For the offensive chart, the type chart only shows STAB moves. The chart completely disregards other moves. So, the chart is completely off. Venusaur can also learn ground, rock, normal, and fighting type moves. Both charts do not consider the Gym Leader moves. For example, Dragonite and Aerodactyl can use wing attack on Venusaur and have a super effectiveness, but Venusaur has high Special defense stats. So, the charts are flawed because of this. So, you can no longer make these conclusions that squirtle is the best starter.

Once again, thank you Con! I await your new response.



The earliest you can find a Growlithe is in Route 7 and 8.
My point exactly. What I originally meant was that for my Charmander to be useless, I would have to replace him right at the start, as he is a starter. But I can't.
As goes for later stages of the game, while it is true that Arcanine has better stats than Charizard, it is also a complete sucker to easy Ground moves, to which Charizard is immune. Charizard grows extra weak to rock, plus has an added weakness to electric, but both of them can be easily countered by Earthquake, which is an excellent move and one which Arcanine can't learn. Actually, the only ground move Arcanine can learn is Dig.

The pro is saying that Slowbro, Starmie, and Gyrados are not as good because they are late in game.
I never said that they're not good. I only meant that they cannot replace my squirtle since they come in late. Squirtle is someone whom I can use for the entire game, whereas the rest come in only after a while.
Once again, as goes for later stages, a Blastoise with Ice Beam and Earthquake is very difficult to beat. Gyarados is a double sucker to electric and can't even learn any ground moves to counter them. Slowbro can, but it is WAY too slow to get a good chance at attack. Starmie's good and fast, but it still has a gaping hole in electric defense, plus it is hopeless against ghost and dark types. Blastoise definitely comes out on top of Gen 1 water types, this isn't even worth arguing.

So even though Squirtle(or evolutions) are weak to easily obtainable moves, with a little consideration andthe easily obtainable Earthquake, half of its defensive holes are plugged right away. If you give it an Ice beam, it can kill a dragon.

Venusaur can also learn ground, rock, normal, and fighting type moves.
IT CANNOT! Not in generation 1!
This is bad conduct. You specifically said Gen 1 starters. So you cannot include Gen 3-6 moves. Totally unfair. All the movesets I've taken into account, I've only referred to generation 1. It's only fair that you do the same.

So, what can Bulbasaur do against those it has a disadvantage to?
NOTHING. It cannot learn a single move that would work well against fire, flying, psychic, or ice. In short, when faced with such pokemon, you have no choice but to withdraw your Bulbasaur/Ivysaur/Venusaur.
Charizard at least stands a chance against rock, and a good chance against electric if it has earthquake (come on, every Charizard has earthquake).
Blastoise stands a great chance against both grass as well as electric types, the only worry being its below-average speed.

...but Venusaur has high Special defense stats.
For the record, Blastoise's sp. def. is even higher. Venusaur may survive Dragonite or Aerodactyl's first attack, but then what? Is it gonna use solarbeam on Dragonite? Contrary to what my opponent says, Pokemon battles are not about OHKO moves.
Even if Venusaur survives the first attack, it cannot do anything against pokemon that have a type advantage, as stated by me earlier. At least not in Generation 1, where it is a starter.
Charizard can do something, and Blastoise can do much more than something.

So those are my points. Blastoise is definitely a keeper, and in my opinion it is second only to Swampert. But since we're in gen 1, Blastoise is undoubtedly the best.

Always a pleasure, Pro. I eagerly await your next set of arguments.

P.S. Please refrain from referring to other generations. In other generations, these 3 are not STARTERS, and hence it is unfair to refer to those.
Debate Round No. 3


I will not be able to continue this debate because of personal family issues.
I will not have the acess to internet.

Thank you so much Con for debating with me. You have been very fun to debate with. Please have fun in other rounds. I am reibbly sorry for having to leave. Once again, thank so much and I am sorry.

Because I am no longer able to continue, Con will win this debate. I really wished to conintue. Bye Jay-D!

Minjung Yoon

Please vote for the Con. He made excellent points. He seems extremly cool. I've seen some of his other debates. I hope to debate in future rounds.


Oh dear... This is a huge shame. And all this after I finally got to interact with a smogon specialist.
Well, this has been fun, Mr. Pro. I really regret we can't finish this off. But I don't think this is your fault either...

Thank you so much for an extremely good debate, YoungTurtleBear. I've seen your debates too and you're very adept at this. I really wasn't sure I could convincingly win this one. I hope to compete with you again.

So, that's it, everyone. For now, all we can do is wait and see if Pro returns to compete in round 5.
Debate Round No. 4


YoungTurtleBear forfeited this round.


Well, unfortunately my opponent has forfeited the final round and conceded the debate to me. I shall now make my closing presentation.

As we have seen, in GENERERATION 1, where the starters are bulbasaur. squirtle and charmander, bulbasaur cannot learn a single move that is "super effective" on pokemon that have a type advantage over it.

Charmander(Charizard)'s only real weakness is water. The rest can be countered by learning certain moves. However, this is a considerable disadvantage too, since water is the most common type in the pokemon world.

Squirtle as Blastoise can counter every one of its weaknesses just by learning ice beam and earthquake. Although it is damaged normally by most types, it has the highest defense and special defense among the starters.

As far as advantages against top trainers are considered, I've provided charts to adequately prove that Squirtle and its evolutions have the best collective advantages against the gym leaders and elite four.

Final comparisons (IN GENERATION 1 ONLY):

In terms of popularity among viewers/gamers:
Charmander > Bulbasaur > Squirtle

Type weaknesses:
Squirtle (2 weaknesses) > Charmander (3) > Bulbasaur (4) (However, Charizard is 4x weak to rock, so it may be counted as 4 weaknesses)

I have NOT included type effectiveness by offense, since blastoise and charizard can learn ground/ice/rock etc. moves that are not of their type. All 3 can also learn normal type moves. Offensive effectiveness depends on the moveset, which varies between trainers

Moveset (in terms of type effectiveness):
Blastoise > Charizard > Venusaur

Bulbasaur> Charmander > Squirtle
(Bulbasaur has dual STAB in all 3 forms; Charmander only gets it as Charizard; Squirtle has single STAB throughout)

Effectiveness against leaders/E4:
Blastoise > Charizard > Venusaur

Bulbasaur has a clear advantage only in STAB. Squirtle comes out on top in the extremely crucial moveset and type weakness categories. Since popularity isn't a factor in deciding the "best pick", it is clear that SQUIRTLE is the best Gen 1 starter, and NOT BULBASAUR.

I thank my opponent for instigating a very interesting debate. It is a matter of deep regret that he had to forfeit 2 rounds and concede the debate to me.
The rest is up to the voters. Vote Con...
Debate Round No. 5
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Jay-D 2 years ago
Pro is the most respectful opponent I ever faced. A huge relief after I faced that jerk BrainofanIndividual in my very first debate. I wish this would've gone on to the end.
Posted by SoulReturns 2 years ago
Overall Charizard is the best for battling because of stats, STAB, move pool, and lack of nearly-powerful fire types. Arcanine is okay.
Posted by ScrinTech 2 years ago
@nitrobw1: Charizard, overrated? Nah.
Posted by nitrobw1 2 years ago
I've known this for a long time. I HATE Charizard, mainly because it's so overrated.
Posted by kbub 2 years ago
Best or strongest?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: Concession. "I will not be able to continue this debate because of personal family issues."