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First stage Pokes only for playthroughs (now a playthrough thread)(now 2.0)

I am playing through my Red version yet again. This time around got me thinking- for a future runthrough I'm wanting to make it a bit harder. I mean, after playing it 20 times or so it's become fairly easy. ;) I've heard of players using base Pokemon (no evolutions) for runthroughs. I'm curious if any of you have attempted this & what your experience was. Good or bad? What Pokemon did you use?

Thanks for reading.

EDIT: To clarify, I'm referring to Pokes that do have evolutions, not single-stage only Pokes like Pinsir, Tauros, etc..
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Well, my run would be in gen 1, so the AI would be easier to manipulate & I'm more familiar with gen 1 than any other gen. I'm not anticipating it being super-duper-freaking hard.

But I would have to rethink a few things. I'd have to account for lower stats via boosting, manipulating the AI or using outside-the-box movesets. For example, Bulbasaur's base speed of 45 no longer guarantees crits with Razor Leaf. So do I stick with that, go power with Solarbeam (would need setup to minimize damage beforehand) or do I lean hard into a Leech Seed/Mega Drain set? Would I have to utilize the overlooked stat-reducing moves like Growl, Leer or Sand Attack?

I've been kinda brainstorming what I should run for a team. I'm not wanting Squirtle, as I have Blastoise in my current run & I'm not a huge fan of it (I'm a Bulbasaur guy). So I'd have to pick something else to pack Ice Beam or Blizzard to use against Lance. Maybe Shellder? X Accruacy + Clamp might also be a thing to try if I go Shellder. Otherwise I'm thinking Bulbasaur, Clefairy, Abra, Gastly, and maybe Rhyhorn. Bulba & Clefairy could tank/set up, Abra & Gastly for their special & speed stats, and Rhyhorn has good attack & defense, though it levels up kinda slow. Also, Exeggcute *might* be a better setup/staller than Bulbasaur because of more status-inflicting options & better defense. That would let me pick Squirtle, fixing my Ice Beam/Blizzard problem. Pikachu is also an option... But meh. It's Pikachu. :p

Stuff to think about, anyway.
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OK, so I started this run a little while ago, so I'll just make this a playthrough thread. Again, I'm restricting myself to Pokes that are NOT single-stage (Jynx, Pinsir, Tauros, etc.) and are first-stage only.

I started with Bulbasaur, my favorite starter across all the games. Smart money would've taken Squirtle to solve my Ice Beam/Blizzard problem, but I'm going to pick up Horsea for that later on. I'm super familiar with the Bulbasaur line, with Venusaur being my favorite Pokemon overall. I also figured that while Exeggcute would do a better job in most other departments, I won't be getting it until late in the game and thus the stat experience won't be there. Plus the slower EXP growth in general and limited number of trainers from that point on.
Anywho, once I got to Viridian Forest I picked up a Pikachu. I didn't want to use Pikachu initially, but I'm very comfortable with Pikachu/Raichu so I decided to go with it. Though I have a feeling this guy is going to not be so useful against the Elite 4 aside from being my fastest Thunder Wave user. We shall see.
I was going to pick up a Rhyhorn due to it's great stats for a first stage Pokemon, but like I said in my paragraph about Bulbasaur, the stat experience won't be there. So I picked up a Geodude in Mt. Moon. This guy has been amazing so far. Been working out really well with some Thunder Wave setup.

I had very few issues until I got past Misty's gym. It's still not real difficult, but the lack of power from the evolved forms is becoming noticeable. I'm currently outside of Vermillion City trying to catch a Drowzee. That guy will serve as my backup Thunder Wave user & general OP Psychic type. Very solid base stats too, including a base 90 for a Special stat.

The other two Pokemon I'm going to pick up are Gastly & Horsea. Gastly is pretty self-explanatory. It's just darn good. Horsea... I had to really think about that one. There are no first stage ice types to really take advantage of STAB Ice Beam/Blizzard. All the ice types in RBY are either single-stage (Jynx, Articuno, Lapras) or evolved forms (Dewgong, Cloyster). I narrowed it down to Poliwag, Staryu or Horsea. I liked Poliwag's base speed (90), but since critical hits are determined by the base speed stat and crit damage is not affected by stat buffs/debuffs in RBY I figured I won't get the mileage out of Amnesia that I want. I liked Staryu for it's base stats and fantastic moveset. But I noticed that Staryu falls victim to 5 moveslot syndrome, and most of the moves and recovery it gets I can use other Pokes and items for. While Minimize is useful, it doesn't affect the opposing Pokemon (who is not likely to ever switch), which makes Smokescreen the better pick for me. Smokescreen, slightly better defensive stats and a good special stat got me to pick Horsea.

So, going into the area around Vermillion City I'll have Bulbasaur, Pikachu, Geodude & Drowzee. I'll pick up Gastly & Horsea later on. Geodude will be my star in the gym, but I'm anticipating this playthrough to be a bit slower than previous ones.
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I swear, I haven't forgotten this thread, lol. I just had to take a break from Pokemon. But I'm back on the horse. :)

Once I beat all the trainers up to the first Snorlax I hit up the S.S. Anne. Drowzee's Confusion made that boat a breeze. I had to grind a bit for it though because Drowzee doesn't get Confusion until (I think) level 17. Then I blew through the Vermillion City gym with Geodude. After that I proceeded to the Rock Tunnel, where I'm currently saved off at.

The lack of raw power became much more noticeable on the route from Cerulean City to the Rock Tunnel. I have to actually plan on not 1-hitting everything, lol. So I have to make sure I can take hits, deal with status, do a little more setup, etc. As a result, I've been hitting the Pokemon Centers a bit more in this playthrough. I'm also doing that to save the items I find so I can sell them to help fund my Elite 4 run(s).

Bulbasaur will soon be getting Razor Leaf, which will help in the power department. Geodude and Drowzee have been pretty great so far. Unfortunately, I've also noticed my Pikachu has a below average Special stat. That doesn't bode well for me with it being my main Thunder Wave user. I foresee having to use lots of Revives on it in the Elite 4 just so I can keep paralyzing stuff. We shall see. I'm also torn on whether to burn my Thunderbolt TM on it or go with Thunder (possibly with X Accuracies) for the raw power to make up for the low Special stat. Thunderbolt might be of better use on Gastly, though it will be getting the Psychic TM already. Mega Drain is also an option for Gastly, but I might need that for Bulbasaur if Razor Leaf doesn't pack the power I want (I'd make it into a tank).
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Okay, made some more progress.

I made it through the Rock Tunnel with no issues. Bulbasaur got Razor Leaf, which really helped me extend my trip through the tunnel, as Vine Whip only has 10 PP whereas Razor Leaf has 25 PP. Worked out really well. I skipped a bunch of trainers between the Rock Tunnel and Celadon City so I could train a future Gastly before I make the trip up the Pokemon Tower. I then worked my way through the Rocket Hideout at the Celadon Game Corner and popped back over to Lavender Town to catch a Gastly. I caught one and began training it against all the trainers I skipped between the Rock Tunnel and Celadon City and stopped in at Saffron City to pick up the Psychic TM for Gastly. I'm currently halfway through the Pokemon Tower.

Geodude and Drowzee are doing great- still smashing through pretty much everything I put them up against. I picked up the Rock Slide TM in Celadon for Geodude, though I haven't actually used it yet. Pikachu's shortcomings are becoming more apparent and it seems my suspicions of having lower than average DVs is correct. I don't remember ever having this sort of concern over a Pikachu before. But it will still serve well as my prime Thunder Wave user, as it has BY FAR the highest speed stat on my team. Bulbasaur is seeing renewed power with Razor Leaf and is doing a solid job. The Gastly I caught looks promising. I've been using a gen 1 DV calculator to roughly gauge the potential of new party members and this one (from what I can tell) has 2 near-perfect DVs in the speed and special stats and possibly a perfect DV in hit points, with defense being slightly below average. I'm thinking the defense stat won't matter much in the long run, so this guy should work out very nicely. It absolutely wrecks stuff with Psychic and will serve as a backup Psychic attacker if I were to lose Drowzee in battle. It will probably be my MVP against Bruno at the end of the game.

One note on the DV calculator I'm using: It's hard to tell exactly what the DVs of a Pokemon are when plugging in the starting stats of a Pokemon at super low levels. I was thinking the Pikachu I caught was going to have at least average stats judging by it's starting stats being in the middle & upper ends of the ranges, but because the stats are so low at that level it didn't accurately reflect the overall stat potential. So yeah, I've got a below average Pikachu as a result. It's definitely more accurate when you catch a Pokemon at higher levels (teens and up).

For reference, this is the one I'm using:
https://pycosites.com/pkmn/stat_gen1.php (Pokemon Stat Calculator (Gen 1))
This one I just found gives a more detailed breakdown of what the stats are at certain DVs. Looks like I should've been using this one instead. :shrug:
https://tewky.github.io/dvcalculator/ (Pokemon DV Calculator)

Once I get through the Pokemon Tower my next order of business is to get the Good Rod ASAP and catch a Horsea. That will serve as my Surf/Ice Beam user and will pack Smokescreen if I really need to soften up a tough opponent. Then focus on training Horsea and beat all the trainers up to Koga's and Sabrina's gyms, including the Rocket hideout in Saffron City, to get them as much EXP as possible for those gyms. I'm probably going to need it for Sabrina.
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Well... crap.

I screwed up on my game. Fired it up last night to find I had an Ivysaur. I must not have been paying attention & I saved after forgetting to hit the B button after Bulbasaur's last level up. I could've just kept going, but I don't feel right doing that. So apologies, but I'm scrapping this playthrough. I'm going to put it down for a while and maybe attempt it again this winter. :(
well, i almost finished pkmn platinum with a chimchar but its ok stay positive!
Thanks. I will eventually pick it back up, like I always do with gen 1. :D

Someone on another forum suggested I just toss Ivysaur in the PC and keep going, but I don't want to do that. Principle of the matter. I'll try it again after I get through Metroid Dread.
Well, I fired this back up again. It was bugging me that I didn't finish it.

I'm basically going through it with the same team I had before I screwed it up with Bulbasaur's evolution. Only this time I'm happy that I have a Pikachu with significantly better stats than the previous one. A bit more durable, lol.

Currently on the S.S. Anne with Bulbasaur, Pikachu, Geodude & Drowzee. No major hitches yet. The only real thing I did differently is I initially skipped the 2nd gym to get a Drowzee early. Then I mopped up the route to Bill's house, the second gym & the next couple routes.
Been a while! I've been slowly working through it some more whenever Elden Ring isn't eating up my spare time. :D

Currently at Fuchsia City. Going to take care of Koga, then the Rocket hideout, fighting dojo & Sabrina in Saffron. I'm definitely seeing the power differences now. But I've also been playing slightly ahead of where I should be just to get specific items & to pick up a Horsea. So I am at a disadvantage, but once I get everyone's levels evened out I'll be OK. Haven't lost a battle yet & I don't plan to. :)
Been over a year, but I picked it back up a month ago or so. I'm GOING to finish this.

Finished all 8 gyms & I'm at the door to Victory Road. I'm worried about how well the team will work out against the E4. I have answers for most of them, but Lorelei & Lance are going to give me problems. Lorelei has always been one of the bigger hurdles for me, as my Pokemon picks tend to have Ice-type weaknesses... Bruno won't be a problem. Agatha might be if she gets lucky with sleep and/or if I'm really banged up by that point. Lance... Might be sketchy, but I have plenty of status moves to use. Gary/Blue shouldn't be much of an issue.

But I'll see how it goes. I anticipate having to rely heavily on status moves, even when I have offensive advantages, due to the lack of raw power. Pikachu & Drowzee are going to be my Thunder Wave users, with Bulbasaur as a sleep inducer if it can take incoming hits.