Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s Gen 9 final starter evolutions are quite different when compared to the ones in Generation 8’s Sword and Shield games. The new Nintendo Switch titles introduced a trio whose designs were somewhat polarizing but were compensated by their sheer combat power and solid dual typing. On the other hand, much like the ones in Gen 9, Gen 8 final starter evolutions were not as beloved as the creatures in previous generations but were also strong to use in battle.

Because of how each of them performs on the field, it is quite difficult to compare Gen 9 Pokémon Scarlet and Violet starter evolutions to the ones in Gen 8. This is especially true when considering that Gen 8 creatures lost some of their most important moves when being transferred into the current generation’s region of Paldea. Nonetheless, the dispute between these creatures is intense and worth the discussion, ruling out which of them is the best among their main Type.

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Rillaboom Vs. Meowscarada: Which Grass-type Final Evolution Is Best

Pokemon's Rillaboom to the left and Meowscarada to the right with a yellow backlight behind each of them. In the background there are blurred-out images of the Galar and Paldea maps, respectively.

Comparing Sword and Shield’s Rillaboom and Scarlet and Violet’s Meowscarada might be the most difficult task among all the Pokémon final starter evolutions in Gen 8 and Gen 9. Despite both of their designs lacking appeal, these creatures are very good in battles. What Pokémon Sword and Shield’s Rillaboom lacks in Speed, it makes up for in reliant defensive stats. Not only that, but the Drummer Pokémon is also a fantastic physical striker and Grass-type support. It became especially strong with the Isle of Armor DLC, when it gained a Gigantamax form, but, most importantly, was able to learn the Grassy Glide move.

Along with its Hidden Ability Grassy Surge, which sets up Grassy Terrain at the beginning of a fight, Grassy Glide would normally strike first. This made Rillaboom an excellent Grass-type creature in Pokémon Sword and Shield. With datamining indicating that Grassy Glide is not in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s code, it is possible that Rillaboom loses its overall efficiency. Meowscarada, on the other hand, is a surprising starter’s final evolution. The dual Grass- and Dark-type Pokémon from Scarlet and Violet has seven different weaknesses but six resistances and one immunity. This is much better than Rillaboom’s five weaknesses, four resistances, and no immunities.

Meowscarada’s typing also gives it a wider range of moves. The final form of Sprigatito has great Abilities, too. Its combined strengths make it an excellent choice for PvE Tera Raid activities and PvP Ranked Matches alike. When each of them is compared in their own games, these final starter evolutions shine similarly, and the choice between them is hard. However, even if Rillaboom does not lose its Grassy Glide move in Gen 9, the Gen 8 Pokémon’s Grassy Terrain specialty has already been taken by Arboliva, decreasing its potential significantly. As such, in a dispute between Rillaboom and Meowscarada in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, Meowscarada is the winner.

Inteleon Vs. Quaquaval: Which Water-type Final Evolution Is Best

Pokemon's Inteleon to the left and Quaquaval to the right with a yellow backlight behind each of them. In the background there are blurred-out images of the Galar and Paldea maps, respectively.

When it comes to the final starter evolutions of the Water-type, the dispute is a bit less intense. The Gen 8 Inteleon has a very nice design, but what is even better is its overall attack power. Its signature move, Snipe Shot, is a great way to lay critical hits against opponents. When paired up with the Hidden Ability Sniper, which boosts critical hits’ damage by 50%, Inteleon is easily one of the best strikers in Sword and Shield and Scarlet and Violet. The only downside is that it has outrageously poor defensive stats, which makes it extremely vulnerable to being taken down quickly.

Related: Why Shiny Hunting In Pokémon Scarlet & Violet Is About To Get Harder

On the other side of the dispute is the Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s Quaquaval. The dual Water- and Fighting-type creature already has an advantage over Inteleon’s single typing. With it, not only does Quaquaval get a wider moveset but also very important resistances. The final form of the starter Quaxly also has better-distributed stats with a slight advantage to Attack, making it both a good striker and a fairly sturdy option for hard-hitting opponents. In the competitive scene, it can further boost its Attack stat every time it knocks out an opponent through the Hidden Ability Moxie.

In Tera Raids, Torrent can boost its Water-type moves, especially seeing how often Trainers see their Pokémon get hit in higher-leveled activities. When Inteleon and Quaquaval are compared in their respective games, Quaquaval is better, in spite of Inteleon’s immense critical hit potential. When the final forms of the Water-type starters are compared in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, Quaquaval is still a better option. Inteleon is, in fact, a good Pokémon to have, but Quaxly’s final evolution is better in every aspect, in both the Gen 8 and Gen 9 games.

Cinderace Vs. Skeledirge: Which Fire-type Final Evolution Is Best

Pokemon's Cinderace to the left and Skeledirge to the right with a yellow backlight behind each of them. In the background there are blurred-out images of the Galar and Paldea maps, respectively.

The dispute between Gen 8 and Gen 9 final starter evolutions in the Fire-type category may be the easiest one of them all. Both Cinderace and Skeledirge are incredible Sword and Shield and Scarlet and Violet Pokémon, respectively, but one stands taller than the other. Cinderace is a mighty physical striker which also has the advantage of having a high Speed stat, which makes it a menace in competitive matches. It has been added to Gen 9 through Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s Cinderace Tera Raids. Interestingly enough, it was the most difficult one so far, reflecting its strengths.

Skeledirge, Fuecoco’s final form from Gen 9’s Scarlet and Violet, is also a very good Fire-type Pokémon. Its dual Fire- and Ghost-type grants it seven resistances and two immunities, making it a powerhouse against many different types of opponents. Skeledirge’s stats are also well distributed, with the exception of Speed, which is low. Despite this, the final starter evolution makes up for the lack of move priority with its Hidden Ability Unaware, which disregards any of the target’s stat changes when attacking or being attacked. This makes Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s Skeledirge a fantastic option for ranked matches and Tera Raids alike.

Related: Pokémon Scarlet & Violet Starter Evolutions: Pros & Cons Of Skeledirge

Additionally, the Scarlet and Violet Pokémon’s signature move, Torch Song, has an impressive 80 power that boosts Skeledirge’s Special Attack stat even further every time it is used. Normally, Cinderace’s Gigantamax form in Sword and Shield may have posed a threat to the Gen 9 creature when they are compared in their own games, but Skeledirge is easily the best final starter evolution among the two Fire-types across both generations. In fact, Skeledirge is so good that it is considered one of the best final starter evolutions among every single one in the franchise, which just comes to show how strong it actually is.

Overall, the Gen 9 final starter evolutions in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet are superior to those of Gen 8, regardless of them being a Grass-, Water, or Fire-type. This does not mean that Rillaboom, Inteleon, and Cinderace are necessarily bad, but they have clear disadvantages when compared to Meowscarada, Quaquaval, and Skeledirge, respectively. According to datamining, Galar’s starters are soon being added to Pokémon Scarlet and Violet through Pokémon HOME, meaning players will be able to make a more effective and hands-on comparison between the creatures, considering their moves, the lack of Gigantamaxing, and other factors.

More: Pokémon Scarlet & Violet Poll Reveals Most Popular Gen 9 Starter

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