Torchic Is the Best Starter in Pokemon Emerald, Here’s Why

Pokemon Emerald, a beloved game in the Pokemon series, presents players with the difficult decision of choosing their starter Pokemon. The three options available are Treecko, Mudkip, and Torchic.

While opinions may vary on which starter is the best, we aim to settle the debate by evaluating the starters based on their performance against the gym leaders and the Elite Four.

In this article, we will explore the strengths and weaknesses of each starter and analyze their performance in various battles. So, let’s explore why Torchic emerges as the top choice for aspiring trainers in Pokemon Emerald.

Starters vs Gym Leaders

Gym Leader 1: Roxanne – Rock-type

The first gym battle in Pokemon Emerald is against Roxanne, the Rock-type leader. This battle sets the stage for the starter Pokemon’s performance throughout the game. Treecko and Mudkip have a clear advantage in this battle due to their Grass and Water typings, respectively. Rock-type Pokemon are weak against Water and Grass moves, making them easy targets for Treecko and Mudkip.

However, Torchic, being a Fire-type, struggles in this battle. Its Fire moves are not very effective against Rock types, putting it at a disadvantage. But there’s a twist—if Torchic evolves into Combusken before this battle, it learns Double Kick, a Fighting move that deals significant damage to Roxanne’s Rock-type Pokemon. This evolution transforms Torchic’s chances and makes it a formidable opponent in this gym battle.

Gym Leader 2: Brawly – Fighting-type

The second gym battle takes place in Dewford town against Brawly, the Fighting-type gym leader. This battle poses a challenge for all three starters. Neither Treecko, Mudkip, nor Torchic has a type advantage against Fighting types. However, if Torchic has evolved into Combusken, it gains a slight defensive advantage due to its dual typing of Fire and Fighting.

Combusken can resist some of Brawly’s Fighting moves, giving it a fighting chance in this battle. Nonetheless, all three starters will need support from other Pokemon in their teams to overcome the type differences and emerge victorious.

Gym Leader 3: Wattson – Electric-type

The third gym battle awaits trainers in Mauville City, where they face Wattson, the Electric-type gym leader. By this point in the game, the starters should have evolved into their second forms. Wattson’s Electric-type Pokemon pose a challenge for Marshtomp, which is part Ground type and therefore vulnerable to Electric moves.

On the other hand, Grovyle, the evolved form of Treecko, thrives in this battle. Grass types are resistant to Electric moves, giving Grovyle an advantage. Torchic, now Combusken, also holds its own due to Electric types’ neutrality to Fire moves. This gym battle highlights the different strengths and weaknesses of the starters and the importance of team composition.

Gym Leader 4: Flannery – Fire-type

Flannery, the Fire-type gym leader, awaits trainers in Lavaridge Town for the fourth gym battle. This battle presents a unique challenge as it pits Fire types against each other. Combusken, with its dual typing of Fire and Fighting, struggles against Fire types due to their resistance to Fire moves. Grovyle, on the other hand, is at a disadvantage because Grass types are weak against Fire moves. In this battle, Marshtomp, the evolved form of Mudkip, shines brightly. Its Water typing gives it a clear advantage against Fire types, making it the best choice for this gym battle.

Trainers must be mindful of the type matchups and choose their starter accordingly to ensure success.

Gym Leader 5: Norman – Normal-type

Norman, the Normal-type gym leader and the father of the player character in the game, presents an interesting battle. Normal types do not have many inherent advantages or disadvantages, making this battle a test of strategy and team composition. Combusken, with its Fire and Fighting typing, stands out in this battle. Its Fighting moves deal double damage to Normal types, giving it a significant advantage.

While Treecko and Mudkip do not have a type advantage, they can still hold their own with their respective movesets and strategies. This gym battle emphasizes the importance of move selection and understanding the strengths of each starter.

Gym Leader 6: Winona – Flying-type

In Fortree City, trainers face the Flying-type gym leader, Winona, in the sixth gym battle. This battle proves to be a real test, as Flying types can be formidable opponents. Combusken, with its Fire and Fighting typing, emerges as the clear winner in this battle. It has the ability to defeat two of Winona’s Flying-type Pokemon, thanks to its diverse moveset and type advantage. Grovyle, with its Grass typing, can take down Winona’s Grass/Flying type Pokemon, while Marshtomp struggles to find usefulness in this particular fight. The diverse challenges presented by Winona’s team highlight the different strengths and weaknesses of the starters.

Gym Leader 7: Tate and Liza – Psychic-type

Tate and Liza, the twin gym leaders, specialize in Psychic-type Pokemon and provide a unique challenge for trainers. This battle introduces a mix of types, making it more complicated to determine the best choice. Claydol, the first Pokemon faced in this battle, is weak to Grass and Water moves, making Grovyle and Marshtomp viable options. However, Grovyle’s weakness to Flying moves can be problematic if it goes up against Xatu. Marshtomp, being a Water/Ground type, remains a safe bet in this battle. Combusken can also perform well, especially if it has learned Fighting-type moves that receive same type attack bonuses (STAB). This gym battle requires strategic thinking and understanding of type advantages to emerge victorious.

Gym Leader 8: Juan – Water-type

The final gym battle is against Juan, the Water-type gym leader. At this point in the game, all three starters should be fully evolved and at their most powerful. However, if Mudkip was chosen as the starter, it faces a disadvantage in this battle due to the Water typing of Juan’s team. On the other hand, Blaziken, the evolved form of Torchic, struggles against Water types due to their resistance to Fire moves. This leaves Sceptile, the evolved form of Treecko, as the optimal choice for this gym battle. Sceptile can handle most of Juan’s Water-type Pokemon, except for Sealeo, whose dual-typing includes Ice. Trainers must carefully plan their strategy to deal with Sealeo and ensure a successful outcome in this battle.

Starters vs Elite Four

The Elite Four is the ultimate challenge for trainers in Pokemon Emerald. Let’s see how the starters fare against each member.

Elite Four Member 1: Sidney – Dark-type

The first member of the Elite Four is Sidney, specializing in Dark-type Pokemon. While Sceptile may seem like the ideal choice due to its advantage against Dark types, Blaziken surpasses the other starters in this battle. Blaziken’s diverse moveset, including Brick Break, Sky Uppercut, Blaze Kick, Flamethrower, and Aerial Ace, enables it to overcome Sidney’s team effortlessly. Its balanced team composition further enhances its strength and makes Blaziken a nearly unstoppable force.

Elite Four Member 2: Phoebe – Ghost-type

Phoebe, the second member of the Elite Four, focuses on Ghost-type Pokemon. Once again, Blaziken proves to be the strongest choice in this battle. With its powerful moveset, including Brick Break and Sky Uppercut, Blaziken can effectively counter Phoebe’s Ghost-type team. Its varied moveset allows it to adapt to different situations and deal significant damage to the opposing Pokemon.

Elite Four Member 3: Glacia – Ice-type

The third member of the Elite Four, Glacia, utilizes Ice-type Pokemon. While Sceptile has a type advantage against Ice types, Blaziken remains the superior choice due to its powerful moves like Flamethrower and Aerial Ace. Blaziken’s exceptional strength allows it to overpower Glacia’s team and emerge victorious in this icy battle.

Elite Four Member 4: Drake – Dragon-type

Drake, the final member of the Elite Four, specializes in Dragon-type Pokemon. Although Sceptile has a type advantage against Dragon types, Blaziken’s moveset and overall power surpass it in this battle. With moves like Brick Break and Blaze Kick, Blaziken can effectively dismantle Drake’s formidable Dragon-type team. Blaziken’s sheer strength and diverse move options enable it to hold its own and emerge triumphant.

Final Thoughts

When considering both the gym battles and the Elite Four, Torchic emerges as the best starter in Pokemon Emerald. While Treecko and Mudkip perform well in specific battles, Blaziken’s versatility, moveset, and sheer power make it the ultimate choice.

With access to moves like Flamethrower and Brick Break, Blaziken can decimate opponents and conquer even the toughest challenges. So, if you’re looking for the strongest starter in Pokemon Emerald, look no further than Torchic. Choose Torchic as your starter and witness its evolution into Blaziken, an unstoppable force that will lead you to victory in your Pokemon journey.


  1. Is Torchic the only viable starter in Pokemon Emerald?

While Torchic is considered the best starter, Treecko and Mudkip have their strengths and can perform well in certain battles. It ultimately depends on the player’s strategy and team composition.

  1. Can I defeat the gym leaders and Elite Four with any starter?

Yes, with proper strategy, leveling, move selection, and team composition, it is possible to defeat the gym leaders and Elite Four with any starter. Each starter has its own advantages and disadvantages, so careful planning and preparation are essential.

  1. Are there any other factors to consider when choosing a starter?

Apart from battling gym leaders and the Elite Four, factors such as overall design, movepool, and personal preference should be considered when choosing a starter. Each starter offers a unique gameplay experience, so choose the one that resonates with you the most.

  1. Can I train my starter Pokemon to overcome their weaknesses?

Absolutely! By leveling up your starter, teaching them new moves through TMs or move tutors, and evolving them, you can mitigate their weaknesses and enhance their strengths. Training your starter strategically will make them formidable against a wide range of opponents.

  1. Can I transfer my starter Pokemon to other games in the Pokemon series?

Depending on the game and compatibility, it is possible to transfer your starter Pokemon to other Pokemon games using methods like Pokemon Bank or the Pokemon Home app. This allows you to continue your journey with your trusted partner in future games.

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