Pokemon Legends Arceus Starters: Best Starter, stats, moves, and how to catch more of them

Starter Pokemon are one series tradition that hasn’t been unseated in Pokemon Legends Arceus, although they are a little different this time around. Rather than three all-new starter Pokemon, Legends Arceus features three familiar starter Pokemon making a return - though each also gets its own exclusive new evolution for this title.

The three starter Pokemon of Legends Arceus follow tradition in that they’re of the Grass, Fire, and Water types - and each ultimately has its own set of strengths and weaknesses - some driven by move set, some by stats, and some by their primary and secondary type, as demonstrated in our Type Strength and Weakness chart. On this page, we cover some key things about each of the starters:

The three starter Pokemon in Pokemon Legends: Arceus. Which is best?

Picking the Best Starter Pokemon in Legends Arceus

As is always the case with Pokemon’s starters, the developers have worked to ensure that all three of the starter Pokemon are strong, viable, and will be more than capable members of your Pokemon team through the end-game, so long as you keep leveling up and evolving each of them. As such, there isn’t an easy answer for which of the starter Pokemon is the ‘best’ - it’s really heavily dependent upon your personal choice.

Because the three starters hail from older Pokemon games this time, perhaps you have a favourite already. Perhaps you’re planning to take a look at each Pokemon’s new Hisui-exclusive evolution for Legends Arceus and will make a decision based on that - we introduce those below - and we have information on all Pokemon Evolutions in Legends Arceus on another page. Or, perhaps likewise, you want to look at move lists and stats - we detail a little of that, too.

Really, though, know that you can choose any of the three you like and you won’t be disadvantaged. One of the main ways starter choice could advantage you in other games was the order of gyms, which might make the game harder or easier with certain starters - but with no gyms in Legends Arceus, that element of choosing a starter is gone. In that sense, the best starter is really just whichever one you love the best.

Furthermore, in Pokemon Legends Arceus there are guaranteed ways to get the other starters later on, should you change your mind. You can also get the original Sinnoh Starters if you want - we've got a separate page explaining where to find Turtwig, Piplup, and Chimchar. Keep in mind that this page will contain images and spoilers about the final evolutions of the Starter Pokemon. Read on…

How to get more Starter Pokemon

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As is Pokemon tradition, the resident Poke-Professor in Pokemon Legends Arceus, Professor Laventon, will offer you a choice of one of the game’s three starter Pokemon at the onset of the game. First, you’ll have to catch all three in the wild - the tutorial for this game’s new Pokemon-catching mechanic. Once that’s done, and after some story development, you’ll get to choose between the three, as well as unlock your first crafting recipes and get going on the game proper.

But what if you want more? What if you want to have all three starter Pokemon? Well, that is technically possible - and it doesn’t require trading!

There are two ways to catch more Starters in Pokemon Legends Arceus:

  1. Throughout the entire game, the three starter Pokemon can appear as spawns in the Spacetime Distortions, the random events that create a darkened zone where rare Pokemon and items spawn. They are rare spawns, however. Specifically:
    • Rowlet has a chance to spawn in distortions in the Mount Coronet zone.
    • Cyndaquil has a chance to spawn in distortions in the Crimson Mirelands zone.
    • Oshawott has a chance to spawn in distortions in the Alabaster Icelands zone. 
  2. Once you finish the main story, return to the Galaxy Expedition HQ in Jubilife Village and find the Professor in his room on the ground floor, in a room near the NPC that upgrades your inventory space along with the Notice Board that occasionally reveals side quests. Talk to the Professor and he’ll ask you if you’d like to take the Pokemon he has in the room with him on your adventures. Say yes, and you’ll get the two starters you didn’t pick at the game’s onset; if there's not space on your team, they get added to your storage.

Grass Starter Rowlet & Hisuian Decidueye

Rowlet, the Grass-type starter in Pokemon Legends Arceus.

Rowlet is the Pokemon Legends Arceus grass-type starter Pokemon, but it first made its debut in 2016’s Sun & Moon as that game’s starter. What’s different this time around is that once it evolves to its final form, Decidueye, it gets an exclusive new Hisuian form that is all-new for this game. That new form has a new secondary Pokemon type which really mixes things up.

  • Evolutions: Dartrix (Level 17) >> Hisuian Decidueye (Level 34)
  • Type: Grass / Flying, then Grass / Fighting in final evolution
  • Weak Vs: Flying, Fire, Ice, Poison, Psychic, Fairy
  • Resist Damage: Grass, Water, Electric, Ground, Rock, Dark
  • Base Stats: High Attack & Special Attack, Low HP and Speed
The new Hisuian form of Decidueye, evolved from Rowlet.

Hisui Decidueye Move List

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Once you evolve a Rowlet to Hisuian Decidueye, you’ll have access to its complete range of moves as you level up. From leveling up alone, Decidueye will get ideas for a strong range of moves - mostly in the grass and flying categories, but also a few fighting-type moves. 

On paper, the best moves Hisuian Decidueye can get access to are Leaf Storm, Brave Bird, Leave Blade, and Aura Sphere. All of these are learned through leveling - though there’s some very useful moves available to be taught at the training ground.

Learned via Level Up:

  • Gust (Flying)
  • Leafage (Grass)
  • Roost (Flying)
  • Aerial Ace (Flying)
  • Magical Leaf (Grass)
  • Air Slash (Flying)
  • Aura Sphere (Fighting)
  • Leaf Blade (Grass)
  • Triple Arrows (Fighting)
  • Brave Bird (Flying)
  • Leaf Storm (Grass)

Taught at the Training Ground:

  • False Swipe (Normal)
  • Rock Smash (Fighting)
  • Spikes (Ground)
  • Aerial Ace (Flying)
  • Swift (Normal)
  • Magical Leaf (Grass)
  • Focus Energy (Normal)
  • Bulk Up (Fighting)
  • Rest (Psychic)
  • Psycho Cut (Psychic)
  • Shadow Claw (Ghost)
  • Energy Ball (Grass)
  • Giga Impact (Normal)
  • Hyper Beam (Normal)
Cyndaquil, the fire-type starter in Pokemon Legends Arceus.

Fire Starter Cyndaquil & Hisuian Typhlosion

Cyndaquil is back as the Pokemon Legends Arceus fire starter Pokemon, filling the same role as it did in Gold & Silver back in 1999. While the original was pure fire-type all the way through, the Hisui form of second evolution Typhlosion gets a secondary type of Ghost this time around.
Some other things to know:

  • Evolutions: Quilava (Level 14) >> Hisuian Typhlosion (Level 36)
  • Type: Fire, then Fire / Ghost for final evolution
  • Weak Vs: Water, Ground, Rock, Ghost, Dark
  • Resist Damage: Bug, Fire, Grass, Ice, Poison, Fairy, Steel, Normal, Fighting
  • Base Stats: High Sp. Attack, middling other stats, Low HP.
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Hisuian Typhlosion, the new exclusive starter evolution in Pokemon Legends Arceus

Hisui Typhlosion Move List

After evolving Cyndaquil and Quilava, you’ll be left with the interesting dual-type situation of Fire and Ghost - and most of the best-possible move sets for Hisuian Typlosion are built around making use of those types of moves, at least for maximum damage output. 

Through normal leveling Hisuian Typhlosion can only pick up a couple of ghost-type moves, but a wider variety, including Shadow Ball, one of our favourites, can be picked up from the move tutor. It can also learn some Electric, Rock, Ground, and Fighting-type moves that way - so this starter evolution really can be a bit of a Jack of all Trades.

Learned via Level Up:

  • Quick Attack (Normal)
  • Ember (Fire)
  • Rollout (Rock)
  • Flame Wheel (Fire)
  • Swift (Normal)
  • Flamethrower (Fire)
  • Infernal Parade (Ghost)
  • Shadow Ball (Ghost)
  • Overheat (Fire)

Taught at the Training Ground:

  • Rock Smash (Fighting)
  • Bulldoze (Ground)
  • Aerial Ace (Flying)
  • Swift (Normal)
  • Ominous Wind (Ghost)
  • Calm Mind (Psychic)
  • Rest (Psychic)
  • Fire Punch (Fire)
  • Thunder Punch (Electric)
  • Drain Punch (Fighting)
  • Rock Slide (Rock)
  • Shadow Claw (Ghost)
  • Iron Tail (Steel)
  • Mystical Fire (Fire)
  • Shadow Ball (Ghost)
  • Giga Impact (Normal)
  • Wild Charge (Electric)
  • Hyper Beam (Normal)
  • Flamethrower (Fire)

Water Starter Oshawott & Hisuian Samurott

Oshawott, the water-type starter in Pokemon Legends Arceus.
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Oshawott is the water starter for Pokemon Legends Arceus, though of course it’s a familiar face, having been the water starter in 2010’s Pokemon Black & White. As is the case for all these starters, when it evolves up to the new exclusive Hisuian form of its final evolution, Samurott, it gains an additional type - making it a Water & Dark dual-type Pokemon. Here’s the basic stats for the Oshawott evolutionary line in Legends Arceus…

  • Evolutions: Dewott (Level 17) >> Hisuian Samurott (Level 36)
  • Type: Water, then Water / Dark for final evolution
  • Weak Vs: Grass, Electric, Fighting, Bug, Fairy
  • Resist Damage: BFire, Water, Ice, Psychic, Ghost, Dark, Steel
  • Base Stats: Strong, balanced Attack & Sp. Attack stats, but weak HP and Sp. Defense.
Hisui form Samurott, new for Pokemon Legends Arceus.

Hisui Samurott Move List

The goal with your starters should be to evolve up as fast as you can - and once you take Oshawott and get it all the way to Hisuian Samurott, you can start thinking about your long-term move-list. Hisuian Samurott feels like it’s been built for a balance of attack - so it learns a good suite of both Physical and Special moves in both of its native types, leaving the choice of which to use up to you.

On paper, its best moves are the Special Moves - they’re the more naturally powerful. But, Hisuian Samurott’s natural stats lean more towards physical attacks - so it’s up to you to square that circle. One way of doing that might be to hit up the Training Ground, where this Hisui evolution can get outside its comfort zone with quite a few non-native move types that can be learned to buff out its battle utility.

Learned via Level Up:

  • Tackle (Normal)
  • Aqua Jet (Water)
  • Swords Dance (Normal)
  • Water Pulse (Water)
  • Ceaseless Edge (Dark)
  • Slash (Normal)
  • Aqua Tail (Water)
  • Dark Pulse (Dark)
  • Hydro Pump (Water)

Taught at the Training Ground:

  • False Swipe (Normal)
  • Rock Smash (Fighting)
  • Aerial Ace (Flying)
  • Focus Energy (Normal)
  • Rest (Psychic)
  • Poison Jab (Poison)
  • Psycho Cut (Psychic)
  • X-Scissor (Bug)
  • Iron Tail (Steel)
  • Water Pulse (Water)
  • Icy Wind (Ice)
  • Giga Impact (Normal)
  • Aqua Tail (Water)
  • Megahorn (Bug)
  • Hyper Beam (Normal)
  • Ice Beam (Ice)
  • Dark Pulse (Dark)
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