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POTW: Pokémon of the Week #1: Bulbasaur, Ivysaur, & Venusaur

Enzap

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In the World of Pokémon, there lives a vast number and variety of amazing creatures to befriend and collect. Every week, we will be focusing on a single one of these Pokémon or evolutionary line and talking about what makes it special. This week's Pokémon of choice is the Bulbasaur line!



We'll be starting off this first Pokémon of the Week with Pokémon #001, Bulbasaur! Bulbasaur is one of the starter options from the original Pokémon games Red, Green, and Blue and has made several other appearances throughout the series, generally being obtainable through special in-game events. It's one of the few starter Pokémon that has a secondary typing from the very beginning. As it evolves into Ivysaur and Venusaur, the bulb on its back develops into a giant tree-like flower and becomes capable of wielding some of the most powerful Grass-type attacks in the game as well as other useful moves such as Sludge Bomb and Earthquake. Recently, Venusaur gained a new form through the Mega Evolution mechanic, which not only increased its attack strength but gave it tremendous new defensive capabilities. Bulbasaur holds a great deal of nostalgia for many people due it being many players' very first Pokémon and appearing as a regular in the Pokémon anime.

Here are some questions to consider to get conversation rolling. You don't have to answer all of them or any of them in your post as long as you're staying on topic and within global forum rules.
  • Do you like or dislike this Pokémon? Why?
  • How is this Pokémon in-game?
  • How is this Pokémon in competitive play? Are there any interesting strategies you like to use for them?
  • Do you like this Pokémon's representation in the anime? Are there any moments or qualities in particular you enjoy/dislike?
  • How do you think this Pokémon would interact with our world?
  • If given the power to, would you change anything about this Pokémon and if so, what would you change?
  • How does Bulbasaur and its evolutions rank in terms of your favorite Gen 1 starters?
  • How about when compared to other Grass starters?
If you have any suggestions for Pokémon you'd like to discuss in the future just leave your ideas at the bottom of your post. Make sure you give your thoughts about the current Pokémon first!

Previous Pokémon of the Week:
 
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TheCapsFan

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I love Bulbasaur. It was the first starter I ever chose in FRLG, and though it's not as great as the deity that is Chikorita, it's still adorable. I remember as a young kid training this thing up to like level 60 before it fell to Sabrina's Alakazam...I was astounded.

I'm not very involved in the metagame, but I'm fairly certain the Bulbasaur line and the mega that goes with it are not common in your typical party.

I feel like if Bulbasaur lived in the wild, it would be in the rainforest. When it gets angry, or if it's threatened, it could release poison powder from the bulb on it's back to defend itself. I can't imagine actually domesticating it, though.
 

TouyaShiro

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Thick Fat is a fantastic ability that it gained with its Mega Evolution, putting a bit more emphasis on its tanky abilities (and apparently making it resemble its Red & Blue sprite a bit more) and essentially removing two of its weaknesses. With that being said, I want to know. For those who do run with it in some sort of competitive meta, do you prefer Mega Venusaur for tank, or Chlorophyll (its Hidden Ability) for sun speed?

As for my general opinion... I like this starter line in general, though it was never my first Kanto pick. Perhaps the changes to Poison will let me reconsider my choices in the future. The only thing that freaks me out about Venusaur is that several of its animations from the original Pokémon Stadium and all 3D instances until XY involve its eyes becoming bloodshot to all hell, like, holy crap.

Get some sleep or something, geez!
 

Tactician Karina

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Bulbasaur, my very first Pokemon and my favorite starter, I have always found it and it's evolution line (plus it's mega) to be very cool. Personally I have always found Bulbasaur to be a great Pokemon in game, even though I'm not much into the competitive scene and the EVs/IVs, but I never had problems when using it. As for it's anime counterpart, I like that as well, but it's been a long time since I've watched the anime so I only remember some screen time/fights.

It ranks as my, of course, favorite gen. 1 starter since it was my first choice in Red. Compared to the other grass starters, it's still at the top only slightly rivaled by Snivy. I know I seem biased and all, but it certainly brings back memories of me playing Red whenever I see this Pokemon, and how it's final evolution Venusaur stayed in my final team up to the Elite Four. Stay cute/cool Bulbasaur!
 

Lone_Garurumon

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Bulbasaur is absolutely brilliant.
He's probably my second/third favourite Grass starter. Ivysaur is cool too, but Venusaur doesn't quite look as nice though. Maybe its something about the warts or something, but it's not that cool looking to me.
Thick Fat was a brilliant addition though, the thing is actually pretty tanky now. Sure you never really see it, but some kind of buff to the grass type and boom: instant epic.
 

CrystaI

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As for my general opinion... I like this starter line in general, though it was never my first Kanto pick. Perhaps the changes to Poison will let me reconsider my choices in the future. The only thing that freaks me out about Venusaur is that several of its animations from the original Pokémon Stadium and all 3D instances until XY involve its eyes becoming bloodshot to all hell, like, holy crap.

Get some sleep or something, geez!
I wonder what made the 3D-graphic designer think Venusaur's eyes are like that...... Its original Ken Sugimori's art depicted clearly that it supposed to had red pupil instead of blue. Unless, this one is a specific one with DNA variation making its eyes like that.

Also my general thought for that Venusaur. Instead of hadn't slept for weeks, it looks more like a heavily drugged animal hallucinate to be a battle machine. Run for your life before it attacks you mercilessly.
 

Enzap

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Thick Fat is a fantastic ability that it gained with its Mega Evolution, putting a bit more emphasis on its tanky abilities (and apparently making it resemble its Red & Blue sprite a bit more) and essentially removing two of its weaknesses. With that being said, I want to know. For those who do run with it in some sort of competitive meta, do you prefer Mega Venusaur for tank, or Chlorophyll (its Hidden Ability) for sun speed?
I think both fill such different niches it really depends on the rest of your team. Chlorphyll Venusaur basically relies on a Sun dedicated team because you're probably not going to want to set up a Sunny Day before you can actually attack. Mega Venusaur is more versatile and has higher attack strength, but it takes up a Mega slot.
 

Zeb

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I'm pretty partial to the Grass starters and Bulbasaur's line is no exception. It's easily my favourite Kanto starter no competition. It was cool for Bulbasaur to be the only first stage starter that was a dual type, then Rowlet has come along to stop that, but it's another Grass-type too so that's ok!

I'm not really keen on Mega Venusaur's design though, it did get a sturdier stance and some extra vines and those pancake flowers on its head and rear, but its design just feels underwhelming and like they could have done something much more with it. Battle-wise it's great, no doubt about it.
 

Steel_Justice

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Being one of those Bulbasaur kids way back in the day this line hold a special place with me. For one it does in Kanto in my opinion what a starter pokemon should do better than Charmander and Squirtle which is be a strong reliable pokemon to get you past the early game so you can build a strong team. With an advantage over the first 4 gyms it does that job spectacularly and while early game bug and flying types can be a pain that's what Geodude is for.

I think there isn't anything wrong with Mega Venusaur's design. To me it seems like a logical natural progression of how the line evolves. Venusaur's plant grows more and it gets bulkier just like how it evolved up to that point.

If this line were real I wouldn't keep it around small children since the plant is poisonous and they tend to try and bite down on things they shouldn't. Since it's part plant it probably doesn't need to eat often since it can just use the sun and some water. Though since it is also part animal it probably has certain nutritional needs to keep it healthy.
 

Gengarzilla

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Once I learned about the Leech Seed/Toxic trick in the Gen I games, let's just say that Venusaur quickly became a must have for me in that generation. I do prefer Torterra and Chesnaught nowadays though but the Bulbasaur line remains my favorite starters of their generation.

My opinion on Mega Venusaur? I have no need for it but I must admit that a Grass type with Thick Fat is a pretty cool route to take. I intermittently used Thick Fat Mamoswine competitively in the last generation so I can really dig the idea. Don't expect to see me judge on design, that's beneath me.
 

Life

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I've always liked Bulbasaur for being such a simple pokemon. In all depictions of it, it's a low-maintance pokemon perfect for new trainers, which, f0r whatever reason, I would say is more evident/stressed than any other starter, perhaps due to it's calming colors and simple design? But yeah, always been a fan of it.

I would also argue that it's the best starter choice in its generation. It does well at nearly all the gyms, and has good move coverage for whatever you want to use it for. (I like having Sleep + Poison Powder on mine, followed by Synthesis and Razor Leaf.) Well... come to think of it, it doesn't get that diverse of moves until Gen V/VI, but still, you can be creative, I suppose. xD

Do you like or dislike this Pokémon? Why?

Yup! Definitely would say I do, as I explained above. A very simple yet clean design, with lovable depictions.

How is this Pokémon in-game?

^^^

How is this Pokémon in competitive play? Are there any interesting strategies you like to use for them?

I had a good time using a Chlorophyl Venusaur alongside a Mega Charizard Y in the Battle Maison. Solarbeam + Venoshock was super helpful combination.

Do you like this Pokémon's representation in the anime? Are there any moments or qualities in particular you enjoy/dislike?

Ash's Bulbsaur was the cutest, period. v.v Definitely a lot of fun to see on screen, and as it was the first, did the whole "I don't actually wan't to evolve just because" thing fairly well. (Not to mention that the episode gave us the name for the forums!)

How do you think this Pokémon would interact with our world?

Like I said before, due to it's relaxed nature I think it would work well as both a house-pet and service animal really well, especially when you consider what it would be able to due. Disabled? That's where Vine Whip comes in handy. Have trouble sleeping? Have it use Sleep Powder. Having an anxiety attack? Try a Sweet Scent. It's small enough to carry and travel with, and calm enough to handle a majority of situations while still being able to take on challenges.

If given the power to, would you change anything about this Pokémon and if so, what would you change?

Ehh, I don't think so. If it isn't obvious already, I quite like the way it is now.

How does Bulbasaur and its evolutions rank in terms of your favorite Gen 1 starters?

Tied with Squirtle's line for my favorite of the gen. Both lines capture what I love in a pokemon, really!

How about when compared to other Grass starters?

That one's a bit harder to say. ^^

Bulbasaur, compared with other first-stages, is my second favorite, placing just behind Rowlet.
Ivysaur, compared with other second-stages, is also my second favorite, placing behind none other than Bayleef.
Venusaur, compared with other third-stages, is my fifth favorite. xD Not that I dislike it by any means, but I love the other final-stage grass starters!
 

Envoy

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Bulbasaur is my boy!!!!!

The best Pokemon EVAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HE IS GOD!!!!!!! BOW DOWN BEFORE HIS LEAFYNESS!!!!!

I may be slightly biased...

I'm not very involved in the metagame, but I'm fairly certain the Bulbasaur line and the mega that goes with it are not common in your typical party.
Actually, Mega Venusaur is in the Overused tier, which literally means that enough people find him useful enough to keep him as a top tier threat. He is considered one of the absolute best tanks in the game.

Thick Fat is a fantastic ability that it gained with its Mega Evolution, putting a bit more emphasis on its tanky abilities (and apparently making it resemble its Red & Blue sprite a bit more) and essentially removing two of its weaknesses. With that being said, I want to know. For those who do run with it in some sort of competitive meta, do you prefer Mega Venusaur for tank, or Chlorophyll (its Hidden Ability) for sun speed?
I actually have two Venusaurs. One is a Chlorophyll sweeper that I use alongside Zard Y, and yes, also Ninetales (gotta make sure that sun stays up.) The other is a much bulkier defensive type who can tank hits all the live long day, but won't do much in the way of offense. Both have their uses, but right now M-Saur is my default.
 

SirOni

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I like Bulbasaur. It's a very well designed Pokemon, from how its Japanese name can mean either "strange seed" or "isn't it strange" to it being a symbol of cooperation between elements of nature seeing how the bulb and the creature live and grow with each other.

I remember that episode of the anime Bulbasaur... the Ambassador! wherein Ash's Bulbasaur leaves his party to reside at Oak's laboratory. It was a pretty neat episode that even added a bit of suspense in the latter half with Bulbasaur narrowly escaping a fatal accident. We all knew he likely survived but the whole sequence with the accompanying montage was very emotional and really showed what a cool guy Ash's Bulbasaur is. I know I probably teared up a bit when I first watched the episode. The roles Bulbasaur took on in this episode as an ambassador and a leader really show off a lot of the strengths inherit in Bulbasaur. I'm not really surprised that once again we see Bulbasaur forming a bridge between plants and animals as he resolved the conflict between the groups of Grass-type and Water-type Pokemon.

Best starter right here folks! Bulbasaur is #1 and you can deny that :p
 

Poke Trey

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I like the Bulba-line in it's entirety even though I'm still gonna be that guy and say the Charmander line was better, still far from my least favorite grass starter.
 

Gengarzilla

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I actually have two Venusaurs. One is a Chlorophyll sweeper that I use alongside Zard Y, and yes, also Ninetales (gotta make sure that sun stays up.) The other is a much bulkier defensive type who can tank hits all the live long day, but won't do much in the way of offense. Both have their uses, but right now M-Saur is my default.
I hear ya. I've actually got two Gengar in Omega Ruby. One that stays normal so I can use a different Mega (Diancie, Sableye, Metagross, et cetera) and one that Mega Evolves to play with Shadow Tag.
 

Camille

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I don't like this line quite as much as Squirtle and Charmander lines. Ivysaur and Venusaur look alright, but Bulbasaur is just meh. Thick Fat is a very useful Ability for a Grass Pokemon, and Mega Venusaur makes great use of it. It is its attacking movepool that lets it down, since Hidden Power is its only special-based coverage move, and its physical options aren't much better.
I didn't like it when Ash's Bulbasaur refused to evolve in the anime, although it could end up being as underwhelming as Torterra if he evolved fully.
 
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