Which Pokemon Sun and Moon Starters and Evolutions is the Best?

In every Pokemon titles, players are able to choose one from the three starters Pokemon. Each starters Pokemon has its own unique strength, abilities, and weaknesses, and these aspects will define the early game of each player. And since we all tend to want the best possible start, choosing the best Pokemon Sun and Moon starters and evolutions will be essential. Therefore, let’s take an in-depth analysis and see which one is the best Pokemon Sun and Moon starters and evolutions!


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Table of Content:
1. Alola’s Island Challenge
1.1. Melemele Island Challenge
1.2. Akala Island Challenge
1.3. Ula’ula Island Challenge
1.4. Poni Island Challenge
2. Pokemon Sun and Moon Starters Analysis
2.1. Rowlet – Dartrix – Decidueye
2.2. Litten – Torracat – Incineroar
2.3. Popplio – Brionne – Primarina
3. Best Pokemon Sun and Moon Starters for Competitive Scene

1. Alola’s Island Challenges

Just like the quote people often say: “Know thine enemy”, we will need to understand our enemy in order to defeat them. It is also the same for the world of Pokemon Sun and Moon. In order to determine the best Pokemon Sun and Moon starters and evolutions, we will need to understand what kinds of challenge awaiting us.

Unlike other regions, Alola doesn’t have the traditional Gym Leaders system. Instead, it has the Island Challenges in which Pokemon trainers have to succeed. There are 4 main islands in total and each has its own challenge, and it is our job to analyze each of these Island Challenges.

   1.1. Melemele Island Challenge

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Kahuna Hala’s Grand Trial (Source: Internet)

On Melemele Island, players have to complete Captain Ilima’s Trail, in which they have to battle Gumshoos and Yungoos, or Alolan Raticate and Alolan Rattata. And then players will have to defeat the Totem Gumshoos or Totem Raticate. All of them are Normal-type Pokemon, except for Alolan Raticate which is Dark/Normal-type.

After completing Ilima’s Trail, Kahuna Hala will invite the players to his grand trial and they have to defeat him. Kahuna Hala’s Pokemons are Mankey, Makuhita, and Crabrawler, all specialize in Fighting-type techniques.

   1.2. Akala Island Challenge

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Kahuna Olivia’s Grand Trial (Source: Internet)


On Akala Island, players will have to defeat three trails before getting to Akala Island’s grand trail. The three trails are:

  • Lana’s Trial: Players will encounter Totem Wishiwashi, a Water-type Pokemon which specializes in Water technique. Also supporting Totem Wishiwashi are two Solo-form Wishiwashi which also has Water technique. They especially have Aqua Ring move which can heal the target for a small amount for a few turns.
  • Kiawa’s Trial: This trail requires players to win three battles. The first battle involves an Alolan Marowak, the second one involves an Alolan Marowak and a Magmar, and the final battle includes Totem Salazzle. Totem Salazzle is a Fire/Poison-type Pokemon which has 2 Poison moves, 1 Fire move, and Torment move which prevents target from casting a move twice.
  • Mallow’s Trial: In this trial, players have to gather various ingredients, and during the gathering, they will face several Bug or Grass-type Pokemon. Upon completion, players will face Totem Lurantis, a Grass-type Pokemon which has Grass and Bug-type moves, and also Synthesis move which can heal itself.

After finishing those 3 trails, players can proceed to the grand trail which requires players to defeat Kahuna Olivia. She uses Nosepass, Boldore, and Lycanroc, all are excel at Rock-type techniques, except for Lycanroc which has Bite, a Dark-type move.

   1.3. Ula’ula Island Challenge

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Kahuna Nanu’s Grand Trial (Source: Internet)

On Ula’ula Island, players will face 2 trails:

  • Sophocles’s Trial: In this trail, players will have to answer several quizzes in order to proceed. Also, players will encounter Bug-type Pokemon Grubbin and Bug/Electric-type Pokemon Charjabug, Finally, players will encounter Totem Vikavolt, a Bug/Electric-type Pokemon which mostly excels at Electric moves.
  • Acerola’s Trial: This trail will lead players to a more creepy challenge as players will mostly have to deal with Ghost-type Pokemon, including Gastly, Haunter, and Gengar. In this trail, players need to take several pictures, and for the last picture players will battle a Totem Mimikyu, a Ghost/Fairy-type Pokemon.

After completing those 2 trials, players will continue to the grand trail. Kahuna Nanu will be the opponent this time and he is excel at Dark-type Pokemon, including Sableye, Krokorok, and Persian.

   1.4. Poni Island Challenge

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Totem Kommo-o Battle (Source: Internet)


The Challenge on Poni Island will be a bit different as players will have to face the grand trial right off the bat. Players will battle with Kahuna Hapu who mainly uses Ground-type Pokemon, including Alolan Dugtrio, Gastrodon, Flygon, and Mudsdale.

Afterwards, players will be able to face Kommo-o’s Trial in order to access the Altar of the Sunne and Altar of the Moone. Through out the trail, players will face Dragon-type Pokemon Jangmo-o and Dragon/Fighting-type Hakamo-o. Finally, Totem Kommo-o will be the final opponent which is a Dragon/Fighting-type Pokemon. Accompanying Totem Kommo-o are Hakamo-o and Scizor, a Bug/Steel-type Pokemon.

2. Pokemon Sun and Moon Starters and Evolutions Analysis

Now that we’ve seen all four Island Challenges, it’s time to analyze our Pokemon Sun and Moon starters and evolutions to see which one is the best choice.

   2.1. Pokemon Sun and Moon starters and evolutions: Rowlet – Dartrix – Decidueye

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A Rowlet, Dartrix, Decidueye Family (Source: Internet)

Rowlet is a Grass/Flying-type Pokemon among Pokemon Sun and Moon starters and evolutions, at level 17 Rowlet can evolve into Grass/Flying Dartrix, and later on, Grass/Ghost-type Decidueye at level 34. In overall, Rowlet/Dartrix/Decidueye has quite a nice balanced stats between Physical and Special Attack and Defense. Its Grass/Flying type is extremely handy in the first two islands, later on its Ghost/Flying type is quite handy in later game, even though it isn’t particularly super-effective to most Pokemon in the Island Challenges.

Rowlet Stats:

  • Type: Grass/Flying
  • HP: 68
  • Attack: 55
  • Defense: 55
  • Special Attack: 50
  • Special Defense: 50
  • Speed: 42
  • Total Stats: 320
  • Weaknesses: Fire, Flying, Poison, Ice, Rock

Dartrix Stats:

  • Type: Grass/Flying
  • HP: 78
  • Attack: 75
  • Defense: 75
  • Special Attack: 70
  • Special Defense: 70
  • Speed: 52
  • Total Stats: 420
  • Weaknesses: Fire, Flying, Poison, Ice, Rock

Decidueye Stats:

  • Type: Ghost/Flying
  • HP: 78
  • Attack: 107
  • Defense: 75
  • Special Attack: 100
  • Special Defense: 100
  • Speed: 70
  • Total Stats: 530
  • Weaknesses: Ghost, Fire, Flying, Dark, Ice

   Rowlet – Dartrix – Decidueye throughout Island Challenges

In the first two islands, Rowlet/Dartrix is a splendid choice to march through since its type can deal with most of the Pokemon on these 2 islands. Also, it doesn’t particularly weak to any types available on these islands. At the grand trial of Akala Island, things can be somewhat different since Dartrix can evolve to Decidueye by now. In general, Dartrix can still deal massive damage; however, Rock-type moves from Kahuna Olivia’s Pokemon. On the other hand, Decidueye becomes Ghost-type Pokemon (which is quite handy) and it doesn’t have much issue fighting through Kahuna Olivia’s grand trail.

When it comes to Ula’ula Island, things change quite a bit for Decidueye. On the first trial, Decidueye can endure quite a lot of damage from Electric/Bug-type. However, it cannot deal massive damage. On the other hand, the second trail (featuring tons of Ghost-type Pokemon) can be somewhat “cake-walk” for Decidueye because of its Ghost-type. In the grand trail, Decidueye can fare pretty fine with Kahuna Nanu’s Pokemon, but not super-effectively.

In the last island, Decidueye seems to be a good choice in both Kanuha Hapu’s grand trial and Totem Kommo-o. Due to its handy Ghost/Flying type, Decidueye can nicely deal with Kanuha Hapu’s arsenal, and later on deal with Totem Kommo-o’s ally.

   2.2. Pokemon Sun and Moon starters and evolutions: Litten – Torracat – Incineroar

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The Proud Warrior – Incineroar (Source: Internet)

Unilke the “all-rounder” Rowlet/Dartrix/Decidueye, Litten/Torracat/Decidueye specializes in Physical Attack and Defense. Litten is Fire-type Pokemon, at level 17, Litten can evolve into Fire-type Torracat, and later on, Fire/Dark-type Incineroar at level 34. Litten’s final evolution: Incineroar has the highest health pool and it is quite good as a tanking Pokemon. Litten/Torracat’s Fire type can burn down through many Grass and Bug-type Pokemon which are quite popular in Alola Region.

Litten Stats: 

  • Type: Fire
  • HP: 45
  • Attack: 65
  • Defense: 40
  • Special Attack: 60
  • Special Defense: 40
  • Speed: 70
  • Total Stats: 320
  • Weaknesses: Water, Ground, Rock

Torracat Stats:

  • Type: Fire
  • HP: 65
  • Attack: 85
  • Defense: 50
  • Special Attack: 80
  • Special Defense: 50
  • Speed: 90
  • Total Stats: 420
  • Weaknesses: Water, Ground, Rock

Incineroar Stats:

  • Type: Dark/Fire
  • HP: 95
  • Attack: 115
  • Defense: 90
  • Special Attack: 80
  • Special Defense: 90
  • Speed: 60
  • Total Stats: 530
  • Weaknesses: Water, Ground, Fighting, Rock

   Litten – Torracat – Incineroar throughout Island Challenges

On Melemele Island, Litten seems not to have much issue marching through the first Island Trial, despite not having totally superior advantage. However, in the second Island Trial on Akala Island, things become quite rough for Litten/Torracat since there are several Pokemon types which are Litten/Torracat’s weaknesses. Especially the battle with Totem Nishiwashi and Kahuna Olivia’s grand trial will give Litten/Torracat extremely hard time due to the Water and Rock type.

On Ula’ula Island, Incineroar’s Fire/Dark-type has more advantages than other Pokemon Sun and Moon starters and evolutions since there are many Bug-type Pokemon (first trial) and Ghost-type Pokemon (second trial). In Kahuna Nanu’s grand trial, Incineroar is a good choice in overall; however, beware of Krokorok due to its Ground-type move which can really decimate Incineroar.

On the final Poni Island’s Trial, Incineroar still has much troubles in dealing with both Kahuna Hapu’s Grand Trial and Totem Kommo-o. Kahunu Hapu mainly specializes in Ground-type Pokemon which can be devastating for Incineroar’s Dark-type. Also, Totem Kommo-o battle isn’t much better for Incineroar due to vast Fighting-type moves. However, during this battle Incineroar can be a good choice to deal with the ally Scizor.

   2.3. Pokemon Sun and Moon starters and evolutions: Popplio – Brionne – Primarina

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Enjoy the song of Primarina! (Source: Internet)

We have an “all-rounder”, we have a Physical Specialist, and finally we have a Special Specialist: Popplio/Brionne/Primarina. Popplio is a Water-type Pokemon, at level 17, Popplio can evolve into Water-type Brionne, and later on, Fire/Dark-type Primarina at level 34. Popplio/Brionne is Water-type Pokemon; therefore, it may face quite a trouble throughout Alola Region since there are many Water-type Pokemon. However, Popplio’s final evolution, Primarina, is a Water/Fairy-type Pokemon and this is a major advantage for Primarina around late game.

Popplio Stats:

  • Type: Water
  • HP: 50
  • Attack: 54
  • Defense: 54
  • Special Attack: 66
  • Special Defense: 56
  • Speed: 40
  • Total Stats: 320
  • Weaknesses: Grass, Electric

Brionne Stats:

  • Type: Water
  • HP: 60
  • Attack: 69
  • Defense: 69
  • Special Attack: 91
  • Special Defense: 81
  • Speed: 50
  • Total Stats: 420
  • Weaknesses: Grass, Electric

Primarina Stats:

  • Type: Fairy/Water
  • HP: 80
  • Attack: 74
  • Defense: 74
  • Special Attack: 126
  • Special Defense: 116
  • Speed: 60
  • Total Stats: 530
  • Weaknesses: Grass, Electric, Poison

   Popplio – Brionne – Primarina throughout Island Challenges

On the Melumelu Island, Popplio have a slight better advantage than Litten or even Rowlet due to its Disarming Move. This move is especially good when fighting against Ilima’s Trial and Kahuna Hala’s grand challenge.

On Akala Island Trials, things are a bit more tough for Litten/Brionne. The first trial is Totem Nishiwashi which is a Water-type Pokemon; therefore, Popplio/Brionne won’t be super-effective for this fight. The second trial is quite a “cake-walk” for Popplio/Brionne due to many Fire-type Pokemon, particularly the Totem Salazzle since it is Fire/Poison-type Pokemon. The third trial involves various Bug and Grass-type Pokemons which have slight resistance against Water-type moves. Kahuna Olivia’s grand final isn’t particularly difficult for Popplio/Brionne, with the only thing needed to be aware is Nosepass’s Electric-type moves.

In the Ula’ula Island Challenge, the first trial is quite brutal for Primarina due to vast amount of Lightning-type Pokemons, especially the Totem Vikavolt. The second trial isn’t particularly good for Primarina neither due to many Ghost-type Pokemons which can resist Fairy-type moves. But overall the second trial isn’t a brutal challenge for Primarina like the previous one. On the other hand, Kahuna Nanu will totally be wrecked by Primarina due to his specialty in Dark-type Pokemons, which are particularly weak to Fairy-type.

On the final Poni Island, probably this is where Primarina shines the best among Pokemon Sun and Moon starters and evolutions due to its excellent Water/Fairy-type. In the Kahuna Hapu’s grand trial, Primarina is particularly good due to Hapu’s Ground-type Pokemons. Many people also prefer Primarina for this battle when it has Oceanic Operetta move which is excellent in this battle. The Totem Kommo-o trial is also an excellent match for Primarina due to Totem Kommo-o and its ally Hakamo-o’s weakness to Fairy-type.


   2.4. Best Pokemon Sun and Moon Starters and Evolutions for Main Storyline

pokemon sun and moon starters and evolutions

The Silent Hunter of Alola Storyline – Decidueye (Source: Internet)

Base on what we’ve seen so far, overall Rowlet/Dartrix/Decidueye seems to be the best Pokemon Sun and Moon starters and evolutions for the Main Storyline. At the early game, it has quite great advantage due to its Grass/Flying-type. Even in later game, Decidueye’s Grass/Ghost-type is still decent, even though it isn’t really super-effective to the majority of later trials. It is also rarely get countered by most Pokemon, so it’s truly a nice choice for the storyline.

On the other hand, Litten/Torracat/Incineroar and Popplio/Brionne/Primarina don’t have much advantages like Rowlet/Dartrix/Decidueye. Litten/Torracat/Incineroar seems to have better advantages than other among Pokemon Sun and Moon starters and evolutions in early game and in some occasions. But in late game, it seems to have many troubles especially when dealing with the final Kahuna Hapu’s grand trial and Totem Kommo-o.

In contrast, Popplio/Brionne/Primarina has quite big problem in the early game due to vast amount of Water-type Pokemons. Popplio/Brionne/Primarina isn’t particularly good in most early game battles, except for some fight like the Totem Salazzle. However, late game seems to be when Primarina starts to shine the best among Pokemon Sun and Moon starters and evolutions, especially during the battles with Kahuna Nanu, Kahuna Hapu, and the Totem Kommo-o, due to its additional Fairy-type.

To sum up, it seems Rowlet/Dartrix/Decidueye has the best advantage among among Pokemon Sun and Moon starters and evolutions throughout the entire Main Storyline. Litten/Torracat/Incineroar has a good early game but in late game it is easily countered by many Pokemons, especially during trials. Popplio/Brionne/Primarina has a tough start but in late game, its power prevails especially on Poni Island.

3. Best Pokemon Sun and Moon Starters and Evolutions for Competitive Scene

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Who could have guess Primarina as a potential competitive battler? (Source: Internet)

In competitive scene, things are drastically different. Even a Pokemon Starter disliked by many players can become a fearsome contender in competitive. Therefore, for some people, it may be a big surprise that Primarina is actually considered to be the best Pokemon Sun and Moon starters and evolutions for competition.

Primarina is a Water/Fairy-type Pokemon and therefore, it can resist to many popular Pokemon type in competition like Dragon, Dark, Fighting, Water. Also, Primarina has the highest Special Attack and Defense out of the three Pokemon Sun and Moon starters and evolutions, making it a good Special tanker. Also its deadly STAB Water move can be extremely devastating like Hydro Pump or Moonblast.

On the other hand, while Incineroar has greatest amount of HP among Pokemon Sun and Moon starters and evolutions and has quite a good range of resistance. However, it is weak to many common Pokemon types like Fighting, Ground, and Water. And so even if Incineroar has considerably high Physical Attack stat and firepower, it will be taken down fast due to the weaknesses above.

Decidueye is probably the most average out of the three Pokemon Sun and Moon starters and evolutions. It has decent resists and weaknesses, but its moveset isn’t particularly excellent. Therefore, Decidueye, while being an excellent choice for main storyline, isn’t a really good Pokemon in competition.

And that’s mark the end of this article! Have fun and share with us your opinions about the best Pokemon Sun and Moon starters and evolutions! For the meanwhile, stay tune for more awesome Pokemon Sun and Moon and Pokemon wallpapers in the future!

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