Starter Pokémon in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX

All 16 of the starter Pokémon in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX.

There are a total of 16 possible starter Pokémon for Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX. If you’re looking for an overview on each of the starters, as well as their strong points and weak spots, you can use this guide as a reference.

Which Are The Best Starter Pokémon?

First of all, it’s important to understand that any combination of Pokémon can beat the game. At the beginning of the game, you’ll answer a personality test and will be assigned a Pokémon based on your answers — you don’t have to accept that suggestion, though, and can choose whichever Pokémon you’d like.

Some of the best Pokémon to use as your main Pokémon are Charmander, Pikachu, and Skitty. These are probably the overall best choices due to their stats, their moves, and also how they stand up against bosses. There are a lot of Flying-type bosses in the main storyline, which mean Grass- and Fighting-type Pokémon are at a disadvantage. It’s also important to remember that Pokémon are unable to evolve until after the game has been beaten, so some Pokémon like Mudkip and Torchic that have good evolutions with better types aren’t going to be any better until after the game has already been beaten, so just keep that in mind.

Having a good Pokémon for a partner is also important. The game won’t allow you to pick a Pokémon for your partner that is of the same type as the Pokémon you become, so you can’t be a Charmander and have either Cyndaquil or Torchic as a partner. You probably wouldn’t want to anyway.

One thing that is very helpful for partner Pokémon is range moves, so having any sort of moves that have 2+ range will mean you can fight on the frontlines while your partner is attacking from the back. Most Pokémon have at least one range move, but that’s definitely something to consider when choosing a partner.

Some Pokémon that make particularly good partners are Charmander, Pikachu, Eevee and, if you’re using a Water-type starter, Cubone is also a good idea thanks to its ability.

Bulbasaur

“You appear to be the Pokémon Bulbasaur. Is that correct?”

Starting Stats

HP43
Attack15
Defense13
Sp. Atk15
Sp. Def16
Speed17

Ability

Overgrow
Raises the power of Grass-type moves while HP is low.

Starting Moves

Vine Whip (Grass/Physical)
Has 2 range, cuts corners.
Sludge (Poison/Special)
Cuts corners.
Tackle (Normal/Physical)
Low power, lots of PP.
Seed Bomb (Grass/Physical)
Cuts corners. Good power/accuracy.

Review of Bulbasaur

Bulbasaur is a decent Grass-type starter or partner Pokémon to use. It gets some decent status moves fairly early on, which work well as linked moves. It is the only starter or partner Pokémon that starts with two types — Grass and Poison — and the fact that it is part Poison-type gives it some decent options for a lot of bosses that would normally resist Grass.


Chikorita

“You appear to be the Pokémon Chikorita. Is that correct?”

Starting Stats

HP41
Attack13
Defense13
Sp. Atk11
Sp. Def13
Speed13

Ability

Overgrow
Raises the power of Grass-type moves while HP is low.

Starting Moves

Ancient Power (Rock/Special)
Cuts corners. Has a chance of raising all stats temporarily.
Razor Leaf (Grass/Physical)
Has 4 range, cuts corners. Higher critical hit chance.
Tackle (Normal/Physical)
Low power, lots of PP.
Grass Knot (Grass/Special)
Low power, excellent accuracy. Does more damage to heavier targets.

Review of Chikorita

Chikorita suffers from poor starting stats and from being a Grass-type Pokémon, which is a bad thing in a game where so many of the bosses resist it and are super effective. Thankfully Chikorita comes with Ancient Power to counter pesky Flying-types and potentially boost its stats for the rest of the floor. Razor Leaf is also a fantastic long-range move for it to use at a distance.


Treecko

“You appear to be the Pokémon Treecko. Is that correct?”

Starting Stats

HP44
Attack14
Defense13
Sp. Atk16
Sp. Def14
Speed18

Ability

Overgrow
Raises the power of Grass-type moves while HP is low.

Starting Moves

Quick Attack (Normal/Physical)
Has 2 range. Low power.
Absorb (Grass/Special)
Low power, but heals HP based on the damage done.
Dragon Breath (Dragon/Special)
Has 4 range, cuts corners. Has a chance of paralysis.
Iron Tail (Steel/Physical)
High power, lower accuracy. Can lower target’s Defense.

Review of Treecko

Treecko is yet another Grass-type starter, which are definitely the hardest starter or partner Pokémon to use due to all of the bosses that resist Grass and are super effective against it, but thankfully Treecko has some alright options.

Absorb isn’t as versatile as Vine Whip or Razor Leaf, but the fact that it heals after doing damage is really nice for keeping Treecko alive. Dragon Breath is a decent long-range move for it that can also paralyze foes occasionally. Iron Tail also hits pretty hard although it is rather inaccurate.


Charmander

“You appear to be the Pokémon Charmander. Is that correct?”

Starting Stats

HP43
Attack15
Defense13
Sp. Atk15
Sp. Def13
Speed17

Ability

Blaze
Raises the power of Fire-type moves while HP is low.

Starting Moves

Dragon Rage (Dragon/Special)
Cuts corners. Deals a fixed 30 damage. Range increases with level.
Flame Burst (Fire/Special)
Has 4 range, cuts corners. Good power and accuracy, low PP. Damages nearby enemies as well.
Bite (Dark/Physical)
Ok power, but can also cause flinch.
Scratch (Normal/Physical)
Low power, high PP and accuracy.

Review of Charmander

Charmander is a fantastic starter or partner Pokémon. Dragon Rage does a constant 30 damage, which is great early on in the game, plus its range increases as you gain levels. Flame Burst also is a long-range move that hits hard and damages nearby enemies as well, but it lacks a lot of PP, so you’ll need to keep a good supply of Max Elixirs.

Due to these two great moves, Charmander makes a particularly good partner because it can attack from a good distance while you’re going through tunnels or fighting enemies from afar.


Cyndaquil

“You appear to be the Pokémon Cyndaquil. Is that correct?”

Starting Stats

HP43
Attack15
Defense13
Sp. Atk15
Sp. Def13
Speed17

Ability

Blaze
Raises the power of Fire-type moves while HP is low.

Starting Moves

Quick Attack (Normal/Physical)
Has 2 range. Low power.
Ember (Fire/Special)
Has 2 range, cuts corners. Can inflict burn.
Double Kick (Fighting/Physical)
Hits twice in a row. Good PP.
Facade (Normal/Physical)
Good power and accuracy, decent PP. Does more damage if affected by a bad status.

Review of Cyndaquil

Cyndaquil has a lot of moves with high PP, giving it a lot of sustainability, although its moves aren’t as good as Charmander’s. Quick Attack and Ember are both nice for it that make it a good partner since it can attack from directly behind you. Double Kick is decent and Facade has good power that can increase even further if you’re affected by a bad status condition. It gets Smokescreen to lower the foe’s accuracy, too.


Torchic

“You appear to be the Pokémon Torchic. Is that correct?”

Starting Stats

HP43
Attack15
Defense13
Sp. Atk15
Sp. Def13
Speed15

Ability

Blaze
Raises the power of Fire-type moves while HP is low.

Starting Moves

Quick Attack (Normal/Physical)
Has 2 range. Low power.
Ember (Fire/Special)
Has 2 range, cuts corners. Can inflict burn.
Low Kick (Fighting/Physical)
Low power, excellent accuracy. Does more damage to heavier targets.
Peck (Flying/Physical)
Low power, high PP.

Review of Torchic

Torchic is probably the worst of the Fire-type starter Pokémon since it doesn’t really have that great of moves and doesn’t do much that the others don’t. It has Quick Attack and Ember for distance moves, which are alright, but Cyndaquil does as well. Both are a bit similar, but Double Kick is better than Low Kick in most situations. The main advantage of Torchic is that it has a bit better accuracy in its moves overall.


Squirtle

“You appear to be the Pokémon Squirtle. Is that correct?”

Starting Stats

HP41
Attack13
Defense15
Sp. Atk11
Sp. Def14
Speed11

Ability

Torrent
Raises the power of Water-type moves while HP is low.

Starting Moves

Brick Break (Fighting/Physical)
Good power and PP. Breaks target’s Reflect/Light Screen/Aurora Veil.
Water Gun (Water/Special)
Has 2 range, cuts corners.
Tackle (Normal/Physical)
Low power, lots of PP.
Bite (Dark/Physical)
Ok power, but can also cause flinch.

Review of Squirtle

Squirtle is alright, although not all that special. It gets more support and defensive moves that can work well as linked moves. Brick Break is a solid move on it and it presumably learns Bubble later on, which has better range than Water Gun.


Totodile

“You appear to be the Pokémon Totodile. Is that correct?”

Starting Stats

HP41
Attack15
Defense14
Sp. Atk11
Sp. Def13
Speed11

Ability

Torrent
Raises the power of Water-type moves while HP is low.

Starting Moves

Metal Claw (Steel/Physical)
Lots of PP, ok power. Can sometimes raise Attack.
Water Gun (Water/Special)
Has 2 range, cuts corners.
Ice Fang (Ice/Physical)
Good power. Has a chance of either causing freeze or flinch.
Scratch (Normal/Physical)
Low power, high PP and accuracy.

Review of Totodile

Totodile is another alright option for a Water-type starter, although it’s probably not as good as a partner as the other options. Metal Claw and Ice Fang are both really good moves for it to use as a leader, though, and Metal Claw’s chance of raising Attack also makes it a good option for linking. Metal Claw also has a very generous 25 PP as a base. Ice Fang is also very good against quite a few bosses in the game.


Mudkip

“You appear to be the Pokémon Mudkip. Is that correct?”

Starting Stats

HP44
Attack18
Defense17
Sp. Atk14
Sp. Def17
Speed14

Ability

Torrent
Raises the power of Water-type moves while HP is low.

Starting Moves

Mud Bomb (Ground/Special)
Cuts corners. Sometimes lowers target’s accuracy.
Water Gun (Water/Special)
Has 2 range, cuts corners.
Tackle (Normal/Physical)
Low power, lots of PP.
Mud-Slap (Ground/Special)
Cuts corners. Low power, but always lowers the target’s accuracy.

Review of Mudkip

Mudkip’s base stats are pretty decent, but it’s moves are a bit on the lackluster and redundant side. Mud Bomb and Mud-Slap aren’t both necessary, although Mud-Slap is a nice move to include in a linked move because lowering the enemy’s accuracy is quite helpful. Other than that, it doesn’t get a lot of good moves leveling up.


Psyduck

“You appear to be the Pokémon Psyduck. Is that correct?”

Starting Stats

HP41
Attack13
Defense11
Sp. Atk15
Sp. Def11
Speed14

Ability

Cloud Nine
Removes all weather effects on the floor.

Starting Moves

Scratch (Normal/Physical)
Low power, high PP and accuracy.
Water Gun (Water/Special)
Has 2 range, cuts corners.
Confusion (Psychic/Special)
Has a chance of confusing the target.
Zen Headbutt (Psychic/Physical)
Higher power, lower accuracy. Has a chance of causing the target to flinch.

Review of Psyduck

Psyduck is a fourth Water-type starter and not one of the usual ones, so it is quite a bit different as a result, not having Torrent for its ability but Cloud Nine instead. Cloud Nine isn’t super helpful, but it can make life a bit better in certain dungeons.

It’s the only starter to get damaging Psychic-type moves from the start, which is pretty decent. Having two of them is probably a bit redundant, though. Water Pulse that it (presumably) gets later on makes for a pretty good Water-type move. Other than that, it doesn’t have a lot of exciting level up moves, but it’s workable.


Pikachu

“You appear to be the Pokémon Pikachu. Is that correct?”

Starting Stats

HP48
Attack17
Defense14
Sp. Atk24
Sp. Def15
Speed19

Ability

Static
Sometimes paralyzes attackers if they hit Pikachu with a contact move.

Starting Moves

Fake Out (Normal/Physical)
Has 2 range. Low power and mediocre accuracy, but can make the target flinch.
Electro Ball (Electric/Special)
Cuts corners. Does more damage based on how higher its Speed is compared to the target’s.
Grass Knot (Grass/Special)
Low power, excellent accuracy. Does more damage to heavier targets.
Iron Tail (Steel/Physical)
High power, lower accuracy. Can lower target’s Defense.

Review of Pikachu

Pikachu’s starting stats are way higher than all of the other starters. It has a great selection of moves early on, too, with Fake Out providing a good distance move and also Electro Ball generally hitting hard, especially if you can lower the foe’s Speed or raise Pikachu’s. Later on, Pikachu can get access to Discharge, which is a very powerful room-clearing move.

Additionally, Static is a great ability for Pikachu, as paralyzing the foe randomly whenever they damage it with a contact move can be surprisingly helpful, although you can also chain Thunder Wave in a linked move for a similar result.


Meowth

“You appear to be the Pokémon Meowth. Is that correct?”

Starting Stats

HP41
Attack12
Defense11
Sp. Atk11
Sp. Def11
Speed18

Ability

Pickup
Picks up a random item on reaching a new floor, if it isn’t holding one already.

Starting Moves

Scratch (Normal/Physical)
Low power, high PP and accuracy.
Fake Out (Normal/Physical)
Has 2 range. Low power and mediocre accuracy, but can make the target flinch.
Bite (Dark/Physical)
Ok power, but can also cause flinch.
Foul Play (Dark/Physical)
High power, but uses the target’s Attack instead of its own.

Review of Meowth

Meowth is alright, but not really the best cat to use. Its ability, Pickup, gives it a random item every time you arrive on a new floor, but only if it isn’t already holding an item — that makes it nice if you’re trying to get a lot of loot, but not overly helpful as you’ll have to unequip your held item in order to activate it, and that can be a bother.

Its moves are OK, in fact it can get quite a few moves that work very well in a link, plus it also has access to a lot of TM moves. It’s quite versatile in that regard. Foul Play is also a pretty strong move to use against bosses due to their generally better Attack stats.


Eevee

“You appear to be the Pokémon Eevee. Is that correct?”

Starting Stats

HP43
Attack13
Defense11
Sp. Atk13
Sp. Def13
Speed13

Ability

Adaptability
Raises the power of moves that are of the same type as this Pokémon.

Starting Moves

Bite (Dark/Physical)
Ok power, but can also cause flinch.
Tackle (Normal/Physical)
Low power, lots of PP.
Swift (Normal/Special)
Cuts corners. Low power, won’t miss the target.
Quick Attack (Normal/Physical)
Has 2 range. Low power.

Review of Eevee

Eevee doesn’t have the greatest of stats or move diversity, but its Adaptability powers up its Normal-type moves. Since only Rock and Steel resist Normal, it gives Eevee a fairly solid neutral matchup against most enemies, bosses included. It also gets a fair amount of moves you can use for linking or support as well.


Skitty

“You appear to be the Pokémon Skitty. Is that correct?”

Starting Stats

HP41
Attack13
Defense13
Sp. Atk11
Sp. Def13
Speed13

Ability

Cute Charm
Sometimes infatuates attackers if they hit Skitty with a contact move.

Starting Moves

Fake Out (Normal/Physical)
Has 2 range. Low power and mediocre accuracy, but can make the target flinch.
Echoed Voice (Normal/Special)
Cuts corners, hits all nearby enemies adjacent. Does more damage if used repeatedly or if used after an ally uses it.
Charge Beam (Electric/Special)
Cuts corners. Low power and PP. Has a chance of raising the user’s Sp. Atk temporarily.
Grass Knot (Grass/Special)
Low power, excellent accuracy. Does more damage to heavier targets.

Review of Skitty

Don’t underestimate Skitty. Though its starting stats are pretty poor and its appearance is extremely cutesy, it has good moves and a really good ability. Since this game doesn’t keep track of Pokémon’s genders in battles, Cute Charm’s infatuation effect can affect any Pokémon in this game, and that can prevent a lot of attacks over the course of the game.

Fake Out is great for a distance move and Echoed Voice is also good for crowd control, hitting all adjacent enemies and also boosting its power if used repeatedly. It also gets Charge Beam and Grass Knot and is capable of learning a good variety of TM moves.


Machop

“You appear to be the Pokémon Machop. Is that correct?”

Starting Stats

HP46
Attack18
Defense13
Sp. Atk12
Sp. Def13
Speed13

Ability

Guts
Raises the power of its Physical moves when affected by a bad status condition.

Starting Moves

Bullet Punch (Steel/Physical)
Has 2 range. Low power.
Brick Break (Fighting/Physical)
Good power and PP. Breaks target’s Reflect/Light Screen/Aurora Veil.
Karate Chop (Fighting/Physical)
Somewhat low power, good PP, and higher critical hit rate.
Strength (Normal/Physical)
Good power and accuracy.

Review of Machop

Machop packs a punch and it will hit even harder when it is affected by bad status conditions thanks to its Guts ability, but that can still make it fairly risky. Its moves are solid, although Bullet Punch doesn’t hit much for super effective damage that Machop’s Fighting-type moves don’t already, although it does give it an option for Fairy-type Pokémon. Bullet Punch is still good on it, though, since it doesn’t get many other distance options.

One downside to Machop is that Fighting-type moves are not going to be effective against many bosses in the game. There are quite a few that resist it and also several that will hit Machop for super effective damage.


Cubone

“You appear to be the Pokémon Cubone. Is that correct?”

Starting Stats

HP41
Attack11
Defense12
Sp. Atk10
Sp. Def11
Speed10

Ability

Lightning Rod
Draws in all Electric-type moves enemies use to Cubone and raises its Sp. Atk afterwards.

Starting Moves

Headbutt (Normal/Physical)
Good power, ok accuracy. Has a chance of making the target flinch.
Bone Club (Ground/Physical)
Lower accuracy. Has a chance of making the target flinch.
Brutal Swing (Normal/Dark)
Hits all nearby adjacent enemies.
Brick Break (Fighting/Physical)
Good power and PP. Breaks target’s Reflect/Light Screen/Aurora Veil.

Review of Cubone

Cubone’s starting stats are absolutely terrible, but it seems to require less EXP to level up, so that may help it gain stats faster. Its moves are alright, but what makes Cubone good is when it is used as a partner Pokémon for a Water-type Pokémon. Its Lightning Rod ability draws in all enemy Electric-type moves in the room to Cubone, which is immune to Electric. This is very good synergy.

Its moves are alright, although it lacks distance moves in its starting moves, so that might detract from it being a good partner for non-Water-type starters. Brutal Swing is good to damage all adjacent enemies. Its other moves are far from bad, too, and can cause flinching.

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