A PVE Analysis of the Hisuian Starters

Posted in

Hello Trainers!

With the start of the new Season of Timeless Travels, we’ve received the exciting news that the Hisuian starters will be making their debut in Pokémon GO!

Today we’re going to take a look at how these new forms of some fan favorite Pokémon will measure up in Pokémon GO PVE. Stay tuned for other articles covering their PVP potential. Let’s dive in!

What is a Hisuian Starter?

To start with, I’ll do a brief lore explanation as to where these alternate forms of known starters come from.

In Pokémon Legends: Arceus, you are transported through time to the distant past in the Hisui Region. Many years later, Hisui would eventually be known as the Sinnoh Region!

The Hisui Region features some unique Pokémon that can only be found in the distant past. Some of these Pokémon evolve from species we are familiar with in the present!

Along your journey, you will receive a starter Pokémon, just as you would in any other region. Hisui’s Pokémon Professor, Laventon, gives you the option of three Pokémon he explains have travelled from faraway lands. To the shock of many, you have the choice between Rowlet, Cyndaquil, and Oshawott!

These three Pokémon are among the species that have a unique evolution in the Hisui Region. Their final forms of Decidueye, Typhlosion, and Samurott, respectively, have regional Hisuian variants! These new evolutions have different typing, stat spreads, moves, and more, adding an exciting new way to play with some fan favorite Pokémon!

The Hisuian Starters

Now we’ll take a look at what you probably came to this article for. Here are the stats on the three Hisuian Starters’ final evolutions!

Typhlosion (Hisuian) FireGhost
Max CP at Level 40 2994 | Max CP at Level 50 3385
ATK 238 DEF 172 HP 177
Weak To: Resistances:
Dark Ghost Ground Rock Water Bugx2 Fightingx2 Normalx2 Fairy Fire Grass Ice Poison Steel
Samurott (Hisuian) WaterDark
Max CP at Level 40 2802 | Max CP at Level 50 3167
ATK 218 DEF 152 HP 207
Weak To: Resistances:
Bug Electric Fairy Fighting Grass Psychicx2 Dark Fire Ghost Ice Steel Water
Decidueye (Hisuian) GrassFighting
Max CP at Level 40 2897 | Max CP at Level 50 3275
ATK 213 DEF 174 HP 204
Weak To: Resistances:
Flyingx2 Fairy Fire Ice Poison Psychic Dark Electric Grass Ground Rock Water


How to Get the Hisuian Starters

The Hisuian Starters have been confirmed to debut some time during the Season of Timeless Travels. As of writing this article, only Hisuian Samurott has been given an official release date. It became available during a special Raid Day event on Sunday, December 3rd.

While it hasn’t been confirmed yet, it can be pretty safely assumed that Hisuian Typhlosion and Decidueye will be released similarly. We will likely see these events once a month for the duration of the Season.

The Analysis

Now that we’ve covered the basic stats, let’s quickly go over how the analysis is going to work. For each of the three starters, I will first compare them to the other starters of their type based on their current movepool, as well as with their starter signature move of Frenzy Plant Grass, Blast Burn Fire, or Hydro Cannon Water. From there, I will compare them to the top 10 non-mega, non-shadow attackers of both their primary and secondary typings, plus an additional 11th entry if the starter falls short of the top 10 that will be the closest current comparison in performance. Finally, they will be compared to both the most relevant Pokémon in the meta that shares their typing, along with another starter that shares their typing.

Sorry that was a bit long winded. Hopefully this will make more sense in practice. Reminder that this article is covering PVE viability. Without further ado, let’s start off with Typhlosion!

Hisuian Typhlosion

Typhlosion was my starter of choice when I first played through Legends: Arceus. To be honest, I likely wouldn’t have chosen it if I had seen the final forms. However, my choice was made due to the nature of the game’s Pokédex. Sinnoh’s (and by extension Hisui’s) Pokédex is notorious for having extremely slim pickings for Fire types. While there are of course options, I figured picking the Fire starter would make team building easier. It ended up being a lot of fun to use, thanks to its signature move called Infernal Parade.

Infernal Parade is a Ghost type move that has a chance to Burn its target. If the target is already burned, the move doubles in power. While it may not be my favorite design-wise, Typhlosion has some devastating potential in the main series. Let’s see how it measures up in Pokémon GO!

Typhlosion vs Starters

Above are all of the currently released Fire starters in the game. Hisuian Typhlosion’s best Fire moveset (based on datamined information) is Ember/Overheat. Its performance with this moveset, as well as with Ember/Blast Burn, is listed above.

Additionally, the Generation 7 and 9 starters, so Incineroar and Skeledirge in this case, are listed with both their current best Fire movesets as well as with their future access to Blast Burn.

Hisuian Typhlosion has a higher Attack stat than its Johtonian form, in exchange for lower Defense and HP. This results in having slightly higher damage per second (DPS), but overall having lower total damage output (TDO). Overall though, Hisuian Typhlosion does appreciate the slightly higher damage output.

As you can see, Hisuian Typhlosion with Overheat is noticeably underwhelming, only outperforming pre-BB Skeledirge, who itself has an even more underwhelming moveset and a more defensive stat spread.

Once it gets access to BB, however, it performs noticeably better, even outperforming its Johtonian counterpart. It should be noted that its secondary Ghost typing may help it outperform the other starters against certain opponents where the secondary typing helps defensively. Overall, it is decidedly middle of the pack, although its viability can fluctuate.

Typhlosion vs Fire Meta

Unfortunately, compared to the Fire meta at large, Hisuian Typhlosion is noticeably underwhelming. Even with Blast Burn, it falls pretty far outside of the top 10 non-mega, non-shadow picks. Without BB, it performs comparably to Houndoom. While its not a bad pick for early game players, it will be significantly less accessible than some other similarly performing Fire types such as the aforementioned Houndoom.

Typhlosion vs Ghost Meta

On paper, Hisuian Typhlosion seems to fare better in the Ghost type meta. Especially outside of Legendaries and difficult to obtain Pokémon like Gholdengo, it ends up third on the list! Strong Ghost types, especially those with a full Ghost type moveset, are hard to come by. Especially since its full Ghost moveset will be available on release, Typhlosion is a great choice for newer players looking to fill out their roster. Additionally, similarly to in the previous section, Typhlosion’s Fire typing could help defensively in certain situations.

Unfortunately, there is a glaring member of the list that is putting a big asterisk next to Hisuian Typhlosion’s viability, which leads us to the next section.

Typhlosion vs Fire / Ghost Types

Before we touch upon Hisuian Typhlosion’s current Pokémon GO predecessor, let’s briefly talk about Skeledirge, the other starter with dual Fire / Ghost typing. As mentioned above, Skeledirge is built more defensively, and combined with an underwhelming moveset, it will underperform Hisuian Typhlosion in a head to head.

Chandelure is a different story. The original Fire / Ghost type currently sits in the top 10 non-megas/non-shadows for both of its typings, able to go toe-to-toe with the Legendary picks for both types. While there may be situations where Blast Burn Typhlosion may outperform Overheat Chandelure due to being able to fire off one more Charged Move, it doesn’t change the fact that Chandelure has better DPS and TDO.

Chandelure also has the benefit of accessibility. While it may be harder to find during the majority of the year, it has had both a Community Day as well as a feature during every Halloween Event since its release. Chandelure doesn’t even need its Community Day move to outperform Typhlosion.

For newer players that haven’t been able to get their hands on a few strong Chandelure, then Hisuian Typhlosion will get the job done in the meantime. However, it is firmly worse than this ghastly chandelier.

Hisuian Typhlosion Conclusion

Overall, Hisuian Typhlosion isn’t going to shake up the meta by any means. Especially without access to Blast Burn, it is largely underwhelming. It is a decent niche Ghost type pick, but it is noticeably outclassed by the more accessible Chandelure.

Hisuian Samurott

Samurott is the first of the Unova starters to receive any additional attention from Game Freak, and in my opinion they did a great job! It is unfortunately the only of the three Hisui starters I haven’t used in a playthrough, its strength is definitely worth noting. It has access to the Hidden Ability Sharpness, which increases the power of a lot of its best moves, including its signature move Ceaseless Edge!

Unfortunately, its signature move is definitely the weakest of the three Hisuian starter signature moves. While its damage can be boosted by Sharpness, its secondary effect is underwhelming. It spreads Spikes, which can be useful, but is usually worse than Stealth Rocks. However, it still has uses. Now lets see how it measures up in Pokémon GO!

Samurott vs Starters

Similarly to with Typhlosion, I’ve added Hisuian Samurott with both its current moveset as well as with Hydro Cannon to the list above, alongside Primarina and Quaquaval with current and future movesets. So how does Hisuian Samurott stack up?

Hisuian Samurott, similarly to Typhlosion, has slightly higher attack than its bases Unovan form in exchange for lower bulk, so it also has higher DPS in exchange for less TDO. However, the difference is much smaller between these two. Hisuian Samurott’s performance to its original form is the closest compared to the other two Hisuian starters. This is due to it having access to the exact same moveset as its Unovan counterpart.

Without Hydro Cannon, Samurott is extremely underwhelming. Razor Shell was a move designed more for PVP than PVE, leading to a much worse performance overall. On the other hand, Hisuian Samurott with Hydro Cannon ends up fifth on the list. However, out of the currently released Water starters, it ends up third! It’s unclear as to when Hydro Cannon will be available with Hisuian Samurott, but when it is, it will be above average compared to the other starters!

Samurott vs Water Meta

As mentioned in the previous section, Hisuian Samurott without Hydro Cannon is decidedly underwhelming, falling far outside of the top 10 and performing just above Milotic.

With Hydro Cannon, things begin to look up for Hisuian Samurott. As mentioned above, it has slightly higher DPS than its original form, and this is typically valued more in PVE. As such, it performs slightly better than its Unovan counterpart, making it a decent pick, especially in cases where its secondary Dark typing helps defensively.

However, there is yet another glaring issue on this list, this time in the form of a certain frog. We’ll touch upon that a bit later.

Samurott vs Dark Meta

In the Dark type department, Hisuian Samurott is a lot more underwhelming. It falls firmly outside of the top 10, performing about as well as Galarian Moltres, who has an atrocious moveset for PVE.

However, looking at the list, many of the choices are Legendaries, Mythicals, Ultra Beasts, or Community Day exclusives, with only Tyranitar, Weavile, and Zoroark falling outside of these restrictions. Hisuian Samurott isn’t a bad budget pick for Dark attackers, but if you can get your hands on a Tyranitar, there’s basically no point in using Samurott.

Samurott vs Water / Dark Types

Similarly to with Hisuian Typhlosion, we’ll start with the less impactful comparison, although this time it is not the starter that shares Hisuian Samurott’s typing.

Crawdaunt is the best performing Water / Dark type, excluding megas and shadows (if you’re looking for the clear winner with this typing, Mega Gyarados is the obvious choice). Crawdaunt definitely falls into the glass cannon category. While Crabhammer is a strangely powerful move, it would pair better with a faster Charged Move that allows Crawdaunt to fire off more of them before fainting. Its Dark type moveset is just bad. If it’s between these two, then Hisuian Samurott wins.

And now we get to the elephant, or rather frog, in the room. Greninja, the golden child of Pokémon behind Charizard, shares both its status as a starter as well as its typing with Hisuian Samurott. Greninja was also blessed with having its ex-signature move, Water Shuriken, boosting it to absurd heights in Pokémon GO. Add this to its accessibility due to a recent Community Day, and you have a clear winner for Water type damage.

Hisuian Samurott does have the edge over these two in terms of Dark type damage, but this is largely due to Greninja’s and Crawdaunt’s abysmal Dark movesets. It is also worth mentioning that it has the benefit of not requiring any legacy moves, further cementing its position as a budget Dark type attacker.

Hisuian Samurott Conclusion

Overall, Hisuian Samurott is pretty meh in PVE. It needs Hydro Cannon to even compete as a Water attacker, but even there t is outclassed by Greninja, and it loses its niche there since they’re are both dual Water / Dark types. It is below average as a  Dark type attacker, but its a decent niche pick thanks to being more accessible than many of the top meta Dark attackers. Overall, I would say it is less usable than Hisuian Typhlosion.

Hisuian Decidueye

Hisuian Decidueye is probably my favorite of the Hisuian starters design wise. I likely would have chosen it for my first playthrough of Legends: Arceus, but I have a tendency to choose the Grass starter, and combined with the lack of Fire types, I decided to change things up. However, upon my second playthrough, the little owl was the clear winner. As an additional note, it has an incredible Shiny form! All three of the Hisuian starters take on the color scheme of their original forms, but in my opinion it fits Decidueye the best!

Decidueye’s signature move is called Triple Arrows. It can debated whether this move or Typhlosion’s Infernal Parade is stronger, but I think I have to give it to Triple Arrows. In addition to being a 100% accurate, 90 base power Fighting move, it has three bonus effects. It has a heightened critical hit rate, has a 50% chance to lower the target’s Defense, and has a 30% chance to make the target flinch. While Hisuian Decidueye is undeniably powerful in the main series, how will it measure up in Pokémon GO?

Decidueye vs Starters

You guys know the deal by now. Hisuian Decidueye with/without Frenzy Plant, plus the same for Alolan Decidueye and Meowscarada.

Hisuian Decidueye fares the best compared to its base form out of the three Hisuian Starters. it has slightly higher Attack and HP and lower Defense, but the difference is slight.

Hisuian Decidueye is the only one of the starters who’s base form hasn’t had a Community Day yet (although it has been announced for early January 2024!). As such, many people likely weren’t aware that Alolan Decidueye performs extremely well with Frenzy Plant, topping out the DPS charts out of all the Grass starters that currently have access to their special move!

Hisuian Decidueye without Frenzy Plant performs below average, although it still outperforms a few starters that have received Community Days! It has access to two Grass moves, the other being Energy Ball, but the overall DPS and therefore TDO is higher with Trailblaze.

And now for the exciting part. As you can see above, Hisuian Decidueye with Frenzy Plant outperforms all other Grass starters that currently have access to it, as well as its Alolan form! This isn’t exactly surprising, as many off the Grass starters, such as Meganium and Chesnaught, have more defensive builds. However, this is still a big accomplishment!

Hisuian Decidueye’s only real competition is Meowscarada, the recently released Paldean Grass starter. Even without Frenzy Plant, Meowscarada outperforms all currently released starters. Once it gets access to Frenzy Plant, it will be the overall best Grass starter. However, Hisuian Decidueye has much more bulk than Meowscarada, meaning it has higher TDO. Both starters have a secondary type as well, which can help defensively in certain matchups. Regardless, Hisuian Decidueye will sit towards the top of the list for Grass starters!

Decidueye vs Grass Meta

Moving on to the overall Grass meta, and it seems like we’ve got a winner!

With its current moveset, Hisuian Decidueye will not be ruffling any feathers (haha) in the meta. It performs comparably to Meganium, which is more a testament to Meganium’s poor performance, as it already has access to Frenzy Plant.

With Frenzy Plant, its a different story. Hisuian Decidueye lands fourth on the list overall! Out of the three Grass types that outperform it, only Kartana is not a mythical. While Zarude is strong, you can only ever use one on your team, and Shaymin doesn’t even have a full Grass type moveset, meaning that in scenarios where Grass is Super Effective, Hisuian Decidueye will likely outperform it!

While it may be a while before we see Frenzy Plant on Hisuian Decidueye, it is sure to be a strong addition to any player’s roster!

Decidueye vs Fighting Meta

First, let’s point out the obvious. Hisuian Decidueye unfortunately doesn’t have access to a Fighting type Fast Move. Just like every other Pokémon in the game, Decidueye’s moveset is limited to its main series movepool. While it doesn’t get access to Counter, it does get access to Low Kick. While it isn’t a great move, it would at least give Decidueye a full Fighting STAB moveset. Maybe this will come in a future move pool update?

Shockingly enough, even without a full Fighting moveset, Hisuian Decidueye still manages to perform extremely well! It was blessed with access to Aura Sphere, which is one of the best moves in the game! Combined with Magical Leaf, which charges energy extremely quickly, Decidueye is able to fire off Aura Sphere extremely quickly! While it may perform slightly worse in scenarios where pure Fighting damage is needed, having access to this move will make Decidueye a powerhouse to be sure!

Decidueye vs Grass / Fighting Types

This section likely won’t come as a surprise based on the previous sections, but I’ll quickly break it down regardless.

The other starter that shares its typing with Hisuian Decidueye is Chesnaught, and the current overall strongest Grass / Fighting type is Virizion. Hisuian Decidueye outperforms both of them in a head to head!

Decidueye does need access to Frenzy Plant in order to outperform the others in the Grass department, but Aura Sphere is enough to help it outperform both in the Fighting department. We have a clear winner!

Hisuian Decidueye Conclusion

Hisuian Decidueye is easily the most viable out of the three Hisuian starters. Although it does need access to Frenzy Plant, it will top the Grass type charts once it does, and it can already do so on the Fighting charts as is! This will definitely be a Pokémon to grind for, assuming it receives a Raid Day similarly to Hisuian Samurott.


And there we have it!


Hisuian Typhlosion as a Fire attacker will be mid at best, even if it gets access to Blast Burn. It is above average as a Ghost attacker. However, it is outclassed in both departments by fellow Fire / Ghost type Chandelure, which is much more accessible and doesn’t require a Legacy or Community Day move in either department.

Hisuian Samurott is the most underwhelming overall. It is above average as a Water type attacker, although it needs Hydro Cannon to do so. It is below average as a Dark type attacker. It is outclassed in most scenarios by fellow Water / Dark starter Greninja. At best, it is a decent budget Dark type attacker, which is the only scenario where it outclasses Greninja.

Hisuian Decidueye is the strongest of the three. Once it gets Frenzy Plant, it will outperform all currently released Grass starters and will land 3rd or 4th on the Grass type meta overall, only being passed up in the future by Meowscarada with Frenzy Plant. Even without a full Fighting moveset, having access to Aura Sphere will make it a solid pick as a Fighting type. Definitely the most PVE relevant of the trio.

That about wraps it up for this article! Stay tuned for more information on Hisuian Typhlosion’s and Hisuian Decidueye’s releases in the future!

Author & tags

Hey! I'm KikitheTiki, an avid Pokémon fan and a staunch supporter of everything X and Y. I dabble in shiny hunting, VGC, and of course plenty of Pokémon GO! Proud level 50 Valor💪

Further reading

Popular today

Latest articles

Support us

Buy GO Hub merch

Get your very own GO Hub t-shirt, mug, or tote.