It’s really hard to catch a shiny Pokémon. And if that Pokémon is your starter, good luck!
Most of the time, you won’t be able to catch enough of them to form a train, so you’ll either have to breed for one or keep starting over.
Consider the benefits of your time and effort before committing to this. However, I am here for a very specific reason: to find out which of the early Pokémon has the most attractive shiny form design.
And just for kicks, I’m going to throw in the Let’s Go prompts as well!
Without further ado, let’s get right to it: here are the top-tier alternatives for flashy starters in each generation.
Unfortunately, Cyndaquil is where we have to begin with this list.
When I was a youngster, I thought Cyndaquil was cool since it looked like a rat with flames shooting out of its back.
Unfortunately, Game Freak messed with Cyndaquil by only having the flames flash intermittently.
There is now only a black stripe on its back, distinguishing it from other rodents.
A shiny Cyndaquil is not required. In the next step, the black line is painted over with a brown one.
When I think of a brown line running downward, I immediately picture underpants with track marks.
You’ve earned your spot at the bottom of our list if just looking at your design makes me think of a bodily function.
Froakie, a little frog Pokémon, became very well known because of its ultimate form, Greninja.
And Greninja, too, has a nice sheen!
Its once-blue skin turns black, and its crimson tongue scarf stands out. It works well together.
Too bad Froakie can’t be more like it.
As it transforms into its glossy form, Froakie’s normally blue skin becomes an extremely pale shade of blue.
Consequently, it becomes indistinguishable from the rest of Froakie’s white bubbles.
Now since we can’t make out the finer characteristics of the Pokémon, we’re simply staring at a blank slate, which is dull.
Squirtle is a nasty shiny of a different sort:
The glistening place where nothing ever alters!
The truth is that Squirtle’s blue skin tone is simply toned down. When compared side by side, however, the two appearances are identical.
A closer examination reveals an even greater divergence from the original source. It’s simply that no internet sprite ever shows you that angle because they’re all drawn from the front.
The shell of a Squirtle is greenish rather than brown.
But it clashes horribly with the rest of Squirtle’s coloring, thus it remains towards the bottom of the rankings.
Like Squirtle before it, this Water-type starter doesn’t provide much in the way of versatility.
It’s Piplup’s turn to shine now.
The dark blue details on Piplup have been lightened up to a more azure hue.
On the other hand, I am once again unable to tell. True, the shift is more noticeable than with Squirtle, but it’s still insufficient.
When will we finally see any Pokémon with guts?
Here we have yet another instance of the ever-reliable Water franchise starter.
To paraphrase a popular saying, “what is it with Game Freak?” Is it because the Water starters were deemed the least interesting after a comparison with the other options?
Oshawott, on the other hand, stands out from the crowd of Water kinds because its blue color deepened rather than faded. What can I say, that’s wonderful.
I wish the designers would be more adventurous with these glittering shapes.
The number of shiny Squirtles should be reduced and the number of shining Charizards should be increased.
We’re finally switching from the stagnant Water kinds to the equally static Grass types!
Nonetheless, I must say that with Snivy it looks far better than with any of the other Pokémon.
Changing Snivy’s color to an emerald green makes it look somewhat more reptilian to me, which is appropriate given the Pokémon’s more snake-like appearance.
It’s not a huge shift, but it’s a step in the right direction.
Tepig, the small fire pig, looks like it was plucked straight out of Moana.
And while I don’t believe its current flashy shape is the best, I can appreciate it more than previous iterations.
Especially after filling out those tedious applications.
The orange tepig’s skin develops yellow and its black markings turn reddish-brown.
These don’t go together very well, but they do create an atmosphere of warmth and fire, so that’s not too bad!
I also just realized that the Unova starters were entered in a neat little row. Weird.
Charmander’s shine is identical to Tepig’s, with the Pokémon’s orange skin being replaced with a yellow hue.
The lack of the odd reddish-brown in Tepig allows the yellow to stand out more clearly, making this combination even more effective.
Nonetheless, this bright object fails to impress me.
The shiny form of Charizard, the last Pokémon to evolve from Charmander, is among the greatest in the Pokémon franchise.
A black Charmander and Charmeleon would have been nice, but why not offer that option? This is fantastic with the flame!
Pikachu surprised me by being so high on the list; I had expected it to be lower.
The shade of yellow was originally turned into something slightly different.
To put it another way: it sounds like the definition of status quo.
That’s not the case here, though.
Pikachu’s color transforms from a bright, cheerful yellow to a deep, powerful shade of the same hue. Perhaps Pikachu acquired a sunburn from spending too much time in the sun.
It’s hardly a huge shift, to be honest. Now that you mention it, though, the Jersey coast brings to mind Pikachu.
This Pikachu is dedicated to the GTL lifestyle.
Conditioning, sunbathing, and a bolt of lightning.
The design of Popplio has always appealed to me.
This circus seal has blue fur and a light blue ruff, giving it a stage-ready look at all times.
And the fact that it’s shiny just helps in my book.
The ruff on Popplio’s shiny form is now a pale pink, and his normally blue fur has been darkened significantly.
When you consider this, Popplio seems much more like a clown! This is such a smart and understated move that it only adds to the cuteness of this little darling.
This is an excellent example of a water shine.
Here’s some important information, Squirtle; write it down.
Totodile’s skin is somewhat more green than blue since it takes inspiration from crocodiles. However, the crimson spikes on its back and tail change color to blue.
Even though I wouldn’t ordinarily pair these hues, I find that they complement each other beautifully here. It’s not overbearing or flashy in any way.
Totodile, you’ve done a great job.
The Pokémon Turtwig looks like a turtle but has more green accents.
In this case, though, its grass-type and natural coloration make it an excellent fit.
When first conceived, the green of Turtwig was much paler and closer to its natural state.
The polished shape is a shade of emerald green.
Turtwig’s brown and yellow highlights are more noticeable now than ever.
Perhaps it’s because it gives Turtwig an even more cartoonish air, which is something I tend to appreciate.
Contrast this with what happened to Turtwig and you get Grookey.
Yellow was added to Grookey’s brilliant green fur to make it appear lighter.
This alone wouldn’t usually be enough to rank a Pokémon that highly.
It’s in Grookey’s ears and tail, though, where we see the most noticeable difference.
They used to be brown, but now they have a reddish tint.
The same reddish-brown we saw in Tepig, but this one fits much better.
Since Grookey has a hint of green, the reddish-brown fur goes rather nicely with the new shade. Absolutely, yes!
We’ve already spent half the time together; why not discuss another Galarian appetizer?
Scorbunny is a cute little rabbit that is passionate about the sport of soccer.
This fire type is built for speed, as seen by its glossy appearance.
Bright orange details have been muted, but it looks like some of that color was intentionally mixed in with the white fur. I don’t know why, but this gives the impression that Scorbunny is much quicker than it actually is.
It’s not unlike decorating a go-kart with painted depictions of fire or lightning.
I can’t explain the accelerated speed. There is no denying the fact.
A shining Bulbasaur exemplifies a fundamental principle of the Pokémon world:
Simply swap the two primary hues.
And it fits this situation like a glove.
Bulbasaur’s brilliant green bulb stands in stark contrast to its normally dark green skin.
This switcheroo is perfect for Bulbasaur since both hues may be used successfully by either plants or reptiles.
It does what it says and does it well; that’s why I like it.
This is exactly the kind of thing I mean when I encourage people to go out on a limb!
Commonly, you’ll find Litten in the tried-and-true color scheme of red and black.
In the glossy version, they just bleach the black fur.
Just by not being a black cat, Litten has taken on a new vibe.
Doesn’t it simply have a nicer vibe? Having a white cat does not make me prejudiced, contrary to popular belief.
Despite being one of the poorest of the starters, Chikorita shines brightly thanks to its amazing shiny form.
Its green skin becomes yellow-green, and its vines and leaves become brown, in this transformation of Chikorita.
This lends the Chikorita style an autumnal feel, just in time for the months of September and October.
Chikorita with a pumpkin spice latte by the fire seems like a perfect way to spend an evening to me.
But you shouldn’t become too cozy. Chikorita is a kind soul who requires special care.
Sobble is the Galarian starter with which I am least familiar, but it does have its advantages.
In my opinion, the biggest selling point is a genuine punk rock sheen.
Its light blue skin and dark blue eyes are the most obvious differences, but the fin is what first caught my eye.
It used to be yellow, but now it’s shocking pink.
What I once thought was a fin is now clearly not one. The mohawk is in now.
This fits wonderfully with Sobble’s melancholy demeanor.
This constant need to stick it to the man is driving it crazy, it says.
Chimchar is a common first course, and I can see why it’s so well-liked.
It had a major role in the anime, does rather well in competition, and is simply a fun monkey overall.
So, what could possibly be the downside?
The sleek, glossy design is a nice bonus.
Altering Chimchar’s fur color from orange to red is a smart move that will highlight the creature’s other distinguishing characteristics.
Despite how cute Chimchar is, I can’t bring myself to focus on him anymore.
Each new addition to the Chimchar family inherits this shimmering hue, and it works just as well on them as it does on the original.
That is really legit; there’s no BS involved.
I believe that there should be even more stages of evolution for Eevee.
There are ten more categories waiting to be discovered.
And I think that the reason Eevee’s shiny appeals to me so much is that it gives me a reason to believe it.
All white Eevee makes me think of a Ghost-type Eeveelution. Most fan-made depictions of this Pokémon have it in purple or gray, but I think white would be better.
This helps Eevee stand out from other Ghost-type Pokemon while also highlighting its cute nature.
I still believe it’s shiny, even without this.
This is because Eevee is simply so adorable.
Another two-colored starter, Torchic, is available.
But there are two main reasons why it ranks so highly here:
First of all, I love these colors together. When placed next to one another, orange and yellow-orange make a stunning pair.
Two, the evolutions that preceded this shiny form were not nearly as good.
While neither Combusken nor Blaziken has particularly poor shine, Torchic certainly shines out more.
Envision if Blaziken maintained this pattern of constantly switching colors. What a fantastic sight it would be!
Taking cues from both chipmunks and chestnuts, Chespin is a cute little rodent.
And its reflective surface wonderfully captures that.
Typically, a Chespin would have brown fur and a green, spiked helmet (?) atop its head.
The most striking transformation is the addition of a brown helmet to the green body. And that, if anything, makes Chespin even cuter!
When I look at this glittering object, I want to pick it up and snuggle it.
Just imagine having Chip and/or Dale along on your Pokémon journey! Absolutely adore it.
Shiny Fennekin is one of my favorites since it is such a radical departure from the normal form.
Shiny Fennekin, who usually has yellow fur and orange fur coming out of its ears, now has gray fur and red fur coming out of its ears.
This makes Fennekin feel more magical and less like just a pretty fox.
Delphox, Fennekin’s evolved form, has been said to be modeled after a witch.
With Fennekin’s superior polish, I can see why.
Rowlet is the cutest little gentleman I’ve ever seen.
Upon its unveiling, the Pokémon became an instant fan favorite thanks to its endearing appearance.
And the glossiness only enhances its attractiveness.
In place of its normally brown feathers, the bow tie’s green color serves as an accent. In the meantime, we’ll dye that bow tie a deeper shade of green.
Because of this, it is both noticeable and unnoticeable.
Rowlet’s appearance is improved by the addition of this shiny, and it now more closely resembles a Grass-type than a simple bird.
That’s cool with me.
I’ve written extensively about why Mudkip is my favorite starter and why you should use it too.
Swampert, its ultimate form, is not only adorable but also very powerful in-game and in competitive play.
Also, its sleek appearance is fantastic.
This Shiny Mudkip has purple skin and orange whiskers instead of blue. The combination of purple and orange is one of my favorites, so this works perfectly for me as well.
So, why isn’t this number one? To put it plainly:
Although I count this among my all-time favorite shinies, I wouldn’t recommend it as a starting shiny.
Another member of the Hoenn team gets the nod instead.
The Hoenn region’s Treecko starter is frequently overlooked.
Treecko is often overlooked in favor of more popular Pokemon like Torchic and Mudkip due to the quality of their final evolved forms.
And I believe that is partially due to the way it was constructed.
Treechock is just another boring lizard.
There is a gecko inspiration for sure.
However, the green isn’t quite striking enough.
Fortunately, this is remedied by its sleek appearance.
Treecko now has the gorgeous emerald green that elevates the aesthetic value of many different kinds of grass.
The awesome red tail, once the same green as Treecko’s skin, serves as a striking contrast.
This Pokémon has suddenly become desirable to me.
This sleek redesign brings Treecko up to date and more in line with its intended lizard ancestors.