While turtles wouldn’t seem like useful Pokémon on paper, Squirtle packs a punch in the form of strong water attacks. Its shell and skull are also versatile weapons in its arsenal as it can hide within it to increase evasion and bash enemies with a significant Headbutt or Skull Bash.
Squirtle is a starter Pokémon in the Red & Blue just like Charmander and Bulbasaur. Squirtle and its evolutions provide players with plenty of power throughout the Kanto, but in a game with clear type advantages, Squirtle isn’t exempt from some drawbacks.
7 Perk: Squirtle Can Single-Handedly Take On The First Gym
In the world of Pokémon, type advantages are the key to success. For whatever reason, rock and ground-type Pokémon are weak against water-types. Luckily for trainers, if they choose Squirtle as their starter, the first gym badge is quite easy to obtain as Brock uses a level 12 Geodude and a level 14 Oynx in battle. Squirtle doesn’t even need to be at a high level. Even a level 9 or 10 Squirtle has the potential to take down the powerful rock-types employed by Brock with a couple of Water Guns. However, trainers shouldn’t get cocky as the next gym battle can be quite difficult if trainers don’t prepare properly.
6 Harsh Reality: Squirtle’s Has No Type-Advantage Against Misty
The second Pokémon gym is in Cerulean City where Misty runs the show with her powerful star-shaped Pokémon companions. Misty starts with a level 18 Staryu and follows up with a level 21 Starmie, the evolved form of Staryu.
Unfortunately for trainers, both of these Pokémon are the same type as Squirtle. Hopefully, trainers can snag an incredibly rare Pikachu from Viridian Forest to take down the bejeweled stars with some powerful electric attacks.
5 Perks: Squirtle Can Eventually Learn HMs Surf & Strength
While many fans choose Squirtle for its adorable nature, the cute turtle evolves into a bit of a sea monster when it reaches its final form. What Blastoise loses in demeanor, it makes up for in its abilities, and not just in the moves it learns along the way. HMs contain incredibly powerful moves that are increasingly difficult to track down through the game.
Blastoise can learn two of the better ones that you come across. HM03 contains Surf, which is not only a powerful water-type move, but allows trainers to travel across bodies of water on the back of their beloved Blastoise. Additionally, HM04 (Strength) comes in handy for moving pesky boulders that occasionally block the path. It also doubles as a powerful fighting move.
4 Harsh Reality: Squirtle Is No Help Against Lt. Surge
Gym number three in Vermillion City doesn’t get any easier for trainers who chose Squirtle. Lt. Surge is the gym leader here and he has a unique Raichu that is level 28, uses the shocking Thunderbolt attack, and also knows Mega Punch and Mega Kick. This nasty combination is difficult for most trainers to overcome, especially with a water-type leading the charge. A trainer’s best chance of beating Surge is using a high-level Geodude (that should have been caught in Mt. Moon) with attacks like Rock Throw or Rock Slide. Most trainers would do well to keep Squirtle (or presumably Wartortle) on the bench during this battle.
3 Perk: Squirtle Wipes The Floor With Blaine
Cinnabar Island is home to many exciting Pokémon as well as a few fun buildings, including the seventh Pokémon gym. Having a strong water-type Pokémon is paramount in defeating gym leader Blaine as well as running through Pokémon Mansion’s four confusing levels.
At this point, trainers should have a very powerful Blastoise as part of their starting line-up. Assuming it knows Surf and a few other strong water-related moves, Blaine should be a cakewalk. While Blaine’s Pokémon are exceptionally strong ranging from level 40 to level 47, they are all fire-type Pokémon and are incredibly susceptible to water attacks.
2 Harsh Reality: Squirtle Has A Tough Time Against Erika
Fighting against Erika is a huge disadvantage for Squirtle as she has three very strong grass-type Pokémon: a level 24 Tangela, a level 29 Victreebel, and a level 29 Vileplume. Wartortle should not lead the charge during this fight or against any of Erika’s underlings as they all use grass-types. Considering there are plenty of grass attacks that are super effective against water-type Pokémon, trainers should fight with a high-level fire-type such as Growlithe or Ponyta, depending on which version one is playing.
1 Perks: Hydro Pump Is One Of The Strongest Water-Type Moves In Red & Blue
Hydro Pump may very well be the most powerful water attack in Red & Blue. There are only a handful of moves in the entire game that are limited to five PP (Power Points) since they are so incredibly powerful, Hydro Pump included. Hydro Pump will come in handy when facing the final gym leader, Giovanni, who employs powerful Pokémon that all happen to be ground and/or rock-type Pokémon.
It should also be incredibly helpful against an array of Pokémon when fighting the Elite Four. Not only will Hydro Pump take down rock and fire-type Pokémon with relative ease (even when they are at higher levels), it also has the potential to takedown Pokémon with no type disadvantage to water. Hydro Pump is the final notch in Blastoise’s belt and causes significant damage to almost all opponents, even other water-type Pokémon.
NEXT: The 15 Most Powerful Pokemon Moves, Ranked