Hello, and welcome to Campfire Talk! This article series will provide you with various opinions of newly released Pokémon from Pokémon Sun and Moon, ranging from the starters to the legendaries. Let's meet our panelists, Joyverse, Spoovo The Pirate, Annoying Orange, Professor Oak, E.T., and pokemonnerd! Today, they're going to be talking about the Alola starters, Litten, Popplio, and Rowlet. Let's see what they have to say! Joyverse Litten Hate me for being one of the Fire-type fanboys. But Litten will have a soft spot in my heart always. Looking at its mischievous face, you'd definitely not put it next to your couch lest it scratch and char it. However, comparing it to the likes of ye olde Charmander, or the dastardly Chimchar, I'd say it wanes in comparison. With that said, I don't really have a liking for cats that much. It, however, still possesses one of my most favourable traits that I look for in many Pokémon—Speed. Sad that it loses all of that when it evolves into a Heel Wrestler..... Well at least that makes a bit of sense for its secondary Dark-type. But it would have been better as a Fighting-type, yeah guys? I think GameFreak messed up with the final evolutions of all the three Alola starters but that's just me saying so. Popplio Popplio is cute. It is. I'll give you that; however it was introduced in a generation that had pretty cute starters. It could have been great but it ended being some sort of drag queen with solid stats that probably won't ever see any usage. TBRH I have very little to say about this cute little seal. So eh. Rowlet Yeah what to say about it? My relation with Grass-type starters had been on-off from the start. Bulbasaur was great, Chikorita was cute but "eh eh" for its generation. Treecko didn't look too good but its final evo Sceptile was godly. Turtwig was cool as well. And so was Snivy. Chespin was dumb af, I have nothing else to say about it. BUT, Rowlet is a major cutie pie. Look at it, its design is so simple yet so gentlemanly. It has a bowtie, A GODDAMN BOWTIE! At first, I assumed its Grass / Flying typing would put it below the other starters in the games but no, the way it has been designed makes it and its evos instantly likable. Like, don't you think it's cute to see an elementary schoolkid with a bowtie evolving into an emo teen and then knowing of its shortcomings and becoming a ripped archer in college. Spoovo The Pirate Litten As someone who often picks the Fire starter, and usually goes for the quadrupeds, I was instantly drawn to Litten at first. I'm also very much a cat person, so the appeal was instantly there, with its little grumpy face and completely nonchalant demeanour. I'd fully expect this thing to push me down the stairs by 'accident' already, so Fire typing was only a bonus really, as it meant you could give it an inspired nickname from many different fandoms. I named mine Kabuki. I thought I wouldn't like its evolved forms as much, but if anything, I actually like them more. Incineroar has that casual arrogance that just makes it very fun to use in battle. It knows it's the best one on the battlefield. And I respect that. All three starters are fun friends, but for me it was Litten who set the house ablaze. Popplio Popplio is probably my least favourite of the three, but I still love it. It's a very clever design, using the little bubbles it makes both to entertain and to eviscerate. It's arguably one of the most feminine starters out there, with only Chikorita and Fennekin for competition, so the 87.5% male/female ratio does disturb me a little bit, however. All in all though, a solid choice to start your new game with. It only improves with age as it gains Fairy typing, not to mention a ridiculous movepool. If only it weren't so slow... Rowlet Borb here is the one that made the fandom lose its shit. Many Pokémon fans have been wanting a Flying-type starter for eons (Charizard doesn't count), and Rowlet certainly doesn't disappoint. While I still like Litten more, Rowlet here was a close second. Of the three, it's certainly the one I'd most want to sit on my shoulder. Litten would stick its claws in, and Popplio would likely have you covered in goo before long. In terms of design, however, Rowlet blows the other two away. It goes from a cute wee owl with a bowtie and a silly smile, and turns into an intimidating spectral archer. 10/10 on the aesthetic side, no question. Like almost everything else in Sun and Moon, however, I really would've liked a better Speed stat. Is a base 90 too much to ask? Annoying Orange Litten I am a well known lover of cats. As soon as I saw Litten, I really wanted it. Litten actually mad it a little hard for me to pick a starter. The one thing holding me back from choosing Litten, other than Rowlet existing, was the fear that it was going to have the bipedal syndrome. This means it was going to stand on two feet by the time it was in its final form. Litten did in fact end up doing just that. That didn't stop me from wanting a Litten myself. Fortunately, I got one after spending about forty minutes on Wonder Trade. I would then spend plenty of time with the little guy on Pokémon Refresh and loved it almost as much as Rowlet. I ended up using Litten in game as an Ice or Fire switch-in for Rowlet but ended up discarding it shortly after it evolved because well, it was underwhelming. Litten's saving grace for me is that it is a well-designed kitten Pokémon and that it's black and red. Pokémon knew the perfect way to draw me into finally picking a fire starter; they just ruined it with its evolutions and Rowlet. Popplio Unfortunately for this Pokémon, it was just highly outclassed in design and crowd appeal by the other starters. Popplio was probably better than Rowlet and Litten competitively, but it was just a bland Pokémon to me. If it weren't for it being nice in competitive later on or needing it for the PokéDex, I would have never even gotten a Popplio. We have five Water-type seal Pokémon as it is. There's plenty of creatures out there to design a Water-type starter and they just had to make another seal. This is one reason Popplio was just really bland to me. There're only two other Fire-type cats and they're based on a lion whereas Litten is more of a domestic cat. There's only two other owl Pokémon, none of which are Grass-type. Come on GameFreak, you had one job there. Rowlet One animal I love almost as much as cats are owls, so this one was a bit hard for me. I actually chose Rowlet as my starter. The way it turns its head in almost any direction is too cute. It also has a cute leaf bowtie. What can't you love about this Pokémon? It's Grass/Flying which makes it only the second starter Pokémon to have dual typing. I fell in love with this Pokémon ever since it was revealed, and I knew I was going to pick it before I knew anything about the starters' evolutions. Even after the evolutions were revealed, my mind was made up. I even jokingly considered running an Everstone on Rowlet because I wanted it to stay that way forever. Rowlet wasn't really hard to use in game either, at least to me. All you have to do is get a Pokémon to take Ice and Fire attacks because it could handle its own for mostly everything else. I actually spent hours on Pokémon Refresh playing with it and it paid off when I got some very clutch crits in the Elite Four. Rowlet may be one of my favorite starter Pokémon, but I can't decide between it and Bulbasaur. Professor Oak Litten I have chosen the Fire-type starter in every single first playthrough of a generation. As time has gone on, I've found myself less and less interested in the Fire-types, but this has been counter-balanced with some of the least interesting Water-type and Grass-type starter Pokémon ever. This is the first generation where I have looked at all three of the starters and actively considered one that isn't a Fire-type. I was forced to make a tough decision. My streak of picking the Fire-type starter almost ended. I chose Litten. It is completely and utterly adorable, with it easily being my favourite Pokémon to play with in Pokémon Refresh. It has a grumpy little face, an awesome design... and that is all the positives I have to say about it. It was so bad that I ended up almost exclusively using Grubbin for the first island of the game, and dropping Litten from the team the first moment I could. It had so much potential, and it made me regret my decision in picking it as a starter. At least its final evolution isn't Fire/Fighting, right? Popplio I feel really bad for Popplio. Popplio is the worst of the three starter Pokémon in this generation for me, arguably making it the worst Water-type starter ever. It is just so completely and utterly confusing for what it should be. First off, it follows the 87.5%/12.5% gender split that all other starter Pokémon do. It does not make any sense when you look at it, and it should probably be the other way around. Popplio's design is based on a circus sea lion that balances balls on its nose, but why did it have to look so bad when compared to two other starters that look very good? Brionne, its first evolution, also looks utterly ridiculous, and I'd even go so far as to say Brionne is the worst looking Pokémon in Generation 7. Its final evolution, Primarina, was given the Water/Fairy typing, the highest base Special Defense of all starter Pokémon ever, and the highest base Special Attack of all starter Pokémon, which is also the highest base stat of any starter Pokémon. This gave it a nice niche over Azumarill... but then they added Tapu Fini, who made Primarina completely obsolete. I think Game Freak went out of their way to annoy people when making the Popplio family, which makes it all the more baffling when you consider that Popplio is arguably the best starter to pick if you want to keep it for the entire game. I really do feel sorry for Popplio, but I will still not be using it any time soon. Rowlet Bulbasaur was cool, but it could not compare to Charmander or Squirtle. Chikorita sucked in a generation where all three starters sucked, and is arguably the worst starter Pokémon of all time. Treecko and Turtwig both had awesome designs and were both awesome, but they got stuck in the best generations for starter Pokémon, and simply got outclassed. Snivy was Smuglord, but it was utterly trash without Contrary. Chespin came the closest to coming in second place, but it simply wasn't as cool as Fennekin or Froakie. My opinion has almost always been that the Fire-type starter was the best, the Water-type starter was second best, and the Grass-type starter was just there to fill out the numbers. Rowlet finally breaks the trend. As I said earlier, it came within a whisker of being chosen, and I really wish I had chosen it. It is the best looking of the three starters, even though its design is rather simple. Its evolutions are both awesome. The jokes made when Rowlet was revealed were the funniest, and I could actually picture myself with a Rowlet just sitting on my shoulder. I really do wish I had gone with my gut instinct. I'm just glad I haven't played both versions yet, which will allow me to rectify my mistake. E.T. Litten Litten is okay because it is a mean-looking kitty. It is the fastest of the three starters until it evolves and becomes an abomination that rivals Popplio in the “disappointing” category. Despite deciding to become a professional wrestler when it grows up, Litten somehow avoided being yet another Fire- / Fighting-type. Litten does deserve some credit for having a type advantage over Rowlet, but it doesn’t matter that much because Rowlet is ultimately protected by the love of the vast majority of humanity. However, Litten’s weakness to Popplio is quite embarrassing and an even greater mystery. The next time I play through Sun or Moon, I will probably give Litten a try to see how it fares (because we all know choosing Popplio would bring about an Alolan Armageddon), but I already know that Litten would pale in comparison to the eternal glory of Rowlet. Popplio Popplio looks silly and clownish. When the starters were introduced, the Internet was filled with memes like this, which just goes to show how vastly inferior Popplio is to Rowlet. Popplio’s Water typing doesn’t even bother Rowlet. When Rowlet grows up, it can use a super-cool move called Spirit Shackle that traps its foes. What does Popplio have to look forward to? When it grows up, it gets a move called Sparkling Aria, which is a move that can heal burns—from the foe. It’s too bad that it won’t be able to use the move on itself. Rowlet Rowlet is the Pokémon that I used to play through Moon. I decided that I wanted to use Rowlet almost immediately after the starters were introduced because of its design. Rowlet’s design is based on an owl, and owls are cool. It also makes Rowlet somewhat unique because the only other owl Pokémon outside of the Rowlet line are Hoothoot and Noctowl. Rowlet is cute and fun because it can rotate its head all the way around during battle, and it is well dressed because it has a bow tie. Rowlet is also the only the second starter in the series to have dual types. pokemonnerd Litten Litten had a lot of potential to be my favorite starter of this gen. It had a really cute design as a basic Pokémon, while looking like it could evolve into the Dark type rather easily. Torracat looked pretty cool as well, though I think it was a mistake just making it pure Fire-type and not adding the Dark type on the middle evolution. Incineroar is what ultimately drove me away from choosing it as my starter for Sun and Moon. If you're into wrestling then it might suit your fancy, however its stat spread and general look just doesn't do it for me. I can appreciate wrestling for what it is, but as a Pokémon, Incineroar is a complete letdown. It doesn't have enough power to compensate for the lack of Speed, doesn't have enough bulk to compensate for not outpacing a large amount of competitive Pokémon and doesn't even have a great signature move to make up for these faults. It's a plus that it's not Fire/Fighting but that's only because Game Freak needs to get over their fetish of designing Fire/Fighting starter Pokémon. It also has problems with several Ultra Beasts and is generally a burden in every part of the game it premiers in. Litten is sadly a mess of a starter that started off the Pokémon spoiler season in a good spot, which is sad since its final evolution could have saved it. Popplio And here is the black sheep of the starters, the one that a large amount of people made a meme over throwing it into the garbage as opposed to actually adopting it. This is a Pokémon that has steadily grown on me since Sun and Moon was released. I'd agree with Professor Oak's comment in that it should be 87.5% female instead of male, but that's more of Game Freak simply not making sense. To be honest, objectively it's the best starter in a vacuum. It has a very good typing, the largest Special Attack out of any starter and actual special bulk to ward off special attackers. And in my opinion, the evolution line looks so much better than Litten's. The clown theme starts showing strongly with Brionne, with the nose being accentuated and its "dress" being very prominent. The major reason why I like Brionne better than Torracat is because it's not just a bigger seal; it has its own identity and signals what the final evolution will yield. And Primarina doesn't disappoint. It looks exactly like the whiteface clowns do in actual circuses, being all white to the neck and also its limbs. It's the star of the show, sporting an excellent typing and very good stats for a final evolution of a starter Pokémon that's outside of the norm. It has the strength and bulk to justify its slow speed, and were it not for Tapu Fini it would be a noteworthy Pokémon of this generation. The fact that it's held back by a legendary Pokémon—and not other problems like Incineroar—really elevates it in my rankings of all the starters. Rowlet Like the vast majority of people gushing about the starters, this is my favorite one. They just completely nailed everything about this Pokémon from start to finish. From how the child Rowlet is the cutest owl since Hoothoot, to the rebellious teenage Datrix that cares too much about how it looks to the adult, aloof and serious archer that is Decidueye, they have every stage of evolution absolutely perfect. It's status as a mixed attacker is also acknowledged by Game Freak, as the TM moves it can learn compliment both its Attack and Special Attack. Its level up moves feel like a natural progression of what a Grass/Flying—as well as a Grass/Ghost once it hits its fully evolved form—can use. I don't have any gripes about this Pokémon at all. 10/5 starter, would always choose this over the other Generation VII starters any day. Spoiler: Special Thanks! Sobi - Organizer, Writer E.T. - Writer, Grammar Annoying Orange - Writer, Artist Professor Oak - Writer Pokemonnerd - Writer Spoovo The Pirate - Writer Joyverse - Writer RedJoker25 - Grammar We hope you enjoyed this edition of Campfire Talk. Post your thoughts below, and if you would like to be a panelist for future articles, here's How to Become an Articles Contributor!