Ranking the New Starters from Pokemon Sword and Shield

Ranking the New Starters from Pokemon Sword and Shield

Grookey, Scorbunny, and Sobble are the three newest starters in Pokemon Sword and Shield -- but which of the three stands above the rest?

After nearly a year of anticipation, The Pokemon Company, Game Freak, and Nintendo finally lifted the veil this morning on Generation 8 of the Pokemon franchisePokemon Sword and Shield, the latest entries in the series set to release later this year on Switch, will take players to the Galar region, a locale that seems to be more industrialized than past regions we have seen over the years. The early screenshots and trailers we’ve seen from Sword and Shield look great and I’m excited to see more of it in the full release.

Above everything else though, likely the most important reveal this morning in the Sword and Shield unveiling was that of the new starter Pokemon for Galar. In typical Pokemon fashion, there will be three new starters to choose from at the outset of your journey: the Fire-type Scorbunny, the Water-type Sobble, and the Grass-type Grookey. Overall, I like the designs of all three even though they definitely are more offbeat than in the past. Still, whenever new starters are revealed for a Pokemon game everyone immediately has their own favorite and least favorite of the bunch. I’m no different in this way.

As of now, here’s my own ordering of the three new starters from Pokemon Sword and Shield listed from my least to most favorite.


3. Scorbunny

Ranking the New Starters from Pokemon Sword and Shield

It is extremely rare for me to find the Fire-type starter to be initially my least fav of the bunch. Ever since I was a kid, I have almost always chosen the Fire starter in my first playthrough of every generation. Charmander, Cyndaquil, Torchic, Chimchar, and so on. So for me to list Scorbunny at the bottom of the pack says a lot.

That being said, I don’t dislike Scorbunny at all. I think my biggest problem with this new Fire Pokemon is that its design just doesn’t jump out at me like the other two starters in Sword and Shield. It’s a fairly straightforward white bunny with some dashes of red thrown in to remind you that hey, this is a Fire-type.

I have a lot of hope for Scorbunny and I’m excited to see its other two evolved forms (please be Big Chungus) down the road. Maybe those evolutions will convince me to pick Scorbunny as my starter with the game arrives but as of now, it’s my least favorite of the three in its first form.

2. Sobble

Ranking the New Starters from Pokemon Sword and Shield

Sobble is a goof. In the entire history of Pokemon, I think that Sobble might be the silliest looking starter ever made. The wide eyes and constant frown on its face is a great combination. I see myself in Sobble probably because I too look perennially nervous and stressed out.

Despite the constant look of “I want to die” painted on Sobble’s face though, I love how calm and zen-like it is. Of the three new Pokemon shown off, Sobble easily has the most personality of the bunch. Our own Tomas Franzese has already started affectionately referring to Sobble as “his son.”

Even though Water-type starters usually aren’t my jam in Pokemon games of the past, I might easily be swayed to pick Sobble this time around. I hope that constant look of nervousness and anxiety continues to grow with each of Sobble’s evolutions.

1. Grookey

Ranking the New Starters from Pokemon Sword and Shield

It’s a monkey. That’s pretty much why Grookey the best.

From the moment I saw Grookey slapping a rock with a stick, I knew I liked this thing. Even though we’ve had Grass-type monkeys in the past like with Pansage, I think the reason I like Grookey so much is because, like Sobble, its design is silly looking to me. It’s just a green monkey with a stick in its hair (is hair what we’d call that?) that clearly just runs around hitting on things with a branch. It’s pretty dumb but also great.

Even though I’ve typically always picked the Fire starter in Pokemon games throughout my whole life, I’ve always had a soft spot for the Grass-types. Bulbasaur was my favorite Pokemon from Generation 1 for the longest time. Out of the gate here with Gen 8, Grookey is currently the one I’m digging the most.

I’m really hoping Grookey’s final evolved form sees him turning into a giant gorilla holding a massive log, or something of that manner. I think there’s a lot of interesting design decisions that could be made with Grookey’s evolutions. Then again, I thought Chespin and Snivy had the potential for some great designs as well and I ended up disliking the final looks of both Serperior and Chesnaught. Hopefully, that won’t end up happening here with this green monkey boy that I adore.


So what’s your favorite Pokemon Sword and Shield starter of the bunch? Be sure to let me know down in the comments. Just be aware, I will not be putting up with any hatred towards Grookey.