Round Table: Chespin, Fennekin, or Froakie?

We’re one day away from the release of Pokémon X and Y! Which Pokémon will the staff be starting out with tomorrow?

By Nintendojo Staff. Posted 10/11/2013 12:00 Comment on this     ShareThis

Earlier this week, we asked you which Pokémon you’d be starting your journey with in Pokémon X and Y: the Grass-type chipmunk, Chespin; the Fire-type fox, Fennekin; or the Water-type frog, Froakie? Now it’s our turn to answer that question. A few Dojo staffers come together to let you know which of these three Pokémon they’ll be choosing at the beginning of their adventure. We’ve even enlisted the help of’s resident Pokémon Master, Joe Merrick, to get his expert opinion on the matter! Which Pokémon was the most popular choice? Read on to find out!

Joe Merrick

For me, the question isn’t really “Which starter should I pick?”, but rather “Which starter should I pick first?” The way I go about things is that I play for the site first, then a Japanese fun game, then an English fun game, so I end up getting all three. This time, the decision to pick Chespin came rather early in the year. After the Pokémon Direct, I saw this awesome fan-art animation of Chespin knocking a piece of fruit off a tree. I fell in love with it instantly. Even after Quilladin got revealed, while many waivered, I decided to still stick with it. I’m sure it’s going to be an awesome Pokémon!

As for the Kanto starters, I have to go with Charmander. When I first got Pokémon Red back in 1999, Charmander was the first Pokémon I ever chose and raised. As such, it’s always fitting to select it at the start of a generation. When the Mega Evolutions were revealed, I was accepting of Mega Charizard, even though Mega Blastoise is arguably cooler looking and Mega Venusaur is more than likely to be ridiculously bulky, but last week the Mega Charizard X reveal came, and as I was going to play Pokémon X first, I was just stunned. The design is astonishing, the change in type has been wanted for decades. I honestly cannot wait to use it and see how it’ll develop as a competitively viable Pokémon.

Kyle England

Historically, I’ve chosen the grass starter for the past few gens. I picked up Treecko in Hoenn, Turtwig in Sinnoh, and Snivy in Unova. And I must admit, it’s because I like reptiles. Every grass starter has always been a reptile! Heck, all three starters in Kanto were reptiles! I’m a Trainer who chooses what starter I like most based on my gut, not based on stats or other technical aspects. So, I always choose the coolest looking Pokémon, which are usually reptiles, who are usually Grass-type.

This time around… I’m not so sure. Chespin is strange. He’s a chipmunk critter? I’m not down with those. And his second form looks ridiculous. Fennekin, on the other hand, is neat enough. Should I go for the Fire-type? I usually never choose those. And then there’s Froakie. I really like the look of the froggie Water-type, and Frogadier looks even cooler. So, for now, I think I’ve decided on Froakie!

Of course, there’s also the batch of Kanto starters to choose from. I really want Squirtle, I really do. However, if I choose Froakie, I don’t want another Water-type. So, Charmander it is. I’ve raised Charmanders plenty of times before, so this is old hat, but I guess Charizard is always an old fallback. Mega Charizard (both of them) look great as well. But I must say that it bothers me that Game Freak is doing some blatant Charizard pandering this generation. Where’s the second Mega Evolutions for Blastoise and Venusaur, hm? Obviously, everyone prefers Charizard, right? It’s not fair! Mega Blastoise X and Y all the way!

Robert Marrujo

I can’t wait for Pokémon (and the 2DS!) on Saturday. I keep flip-flopping, though, over which starters I want. If I get Froakie, I’m totally getting Charmander, but if I get Fennekin, I’m going with Squirtle. Decisions, decisions.

My main reason for wanting Froakie is I think that he looks like a cool, different type of Water Pokemon than what we’re usually treated to. Plus, I have a soft spot for frogs. I really don’t want to double up on the same type for both starters, and I generally am not a big fan of the grass starters, so thus my inclination towards Charmander. I mean, honestly, Charmander ends up becoming one of the coolest Pokemon of all time, so it feels like a no-brainer to pick him. Charizard’s Mega Evolutions are also incredibly appealing, too. My decision making isn’t necessarily strategic when it comes to assembling a Pokémon team. I generally try to keep my types spread out and pick the coolest looking Pokemon. Very scientific, I know.

Going for Fennekin doesn’t seem too bad, though. Yet another unique sort of Fire type for a starter, which is nice to see. Of course, Squirtle is one of the toughest little turtles around, and I can’t wait to see him bulk up into Blastoise as the game progresses. I’d just like to point out that, overall, the batch of starters for these two games is a lot better than Black and White, at least to me. When Game Freak leaves me in a position to choose between two of my favorite Pokémon of all time, I consider that a step in the right direction. No matter what, I’m excited to play these new games!

Andy Hoover

This is far and away the single most difficult starter choice in the history of the series for me. Usually I’ve been drawn to the Water-types thanks to a mix of their strong designs and the fact that way back in the day I chose Squirtle and that left me with a deep appreciation for Water-types. In fact, the only time I ever strayed choosing a Water-type for my first play through was for Black and White, and that was primarily because Snivy had far and away the best design throughout its evolutions.

Deciding who to choose this time around is made all the more difficult by the fact that we have to choose on of the original starters too. History makes me want to go with Froakie but I know for a matter of fact that I will be getting Squirtle because I’m pretty much contractually obligated to choose him at this point. And while I’ve never been one to build my team based solely on stats and strategy, I don’t know if I can really justify both Froakie and Squirtle. If I really push myself I might be able to choose Charmander, but I honestly don’t if I have that much self control.

As for the other new starters, I’ll be blunt. Chespin is completely out of the picture; I really don’t like his design and in all my years of Pokémon training I’ve never been big on Grass-types outside of Snivy. That leaves us within Fennekin, who I think has the best initial design of the new starters, which I contribute to sheer cuteness and a personal appreciation of Foxes. However, after seeing its second form, Braixen, I don’t think I like the direction they are going. I mean seriously, that thing is getting dangerously close to fox girl territory and I’ve never liked it when Pokémon get overly anthropomorphized.

So I guess I have it narrowed down to Froakie or Fennekin, but am totally stuck thanks to my loyalty to Squirtle. I might just have to flip a coin.

Marc Deschamps

My gut is saying Froakie, but that could end up being a game time decision. He does have the same type of “cute appeal” that Charmander and Totodile have though, and those are my two all-time favorite starters. So right now, he’s the one I’m leaning towards.

Speaking of Charmander, I’m really excited to start the game with him again. I think the addition of the original three starters is a really cool move. I’m already feelings pangs of nostalgia from Christmas 1998. Hopefully X and Y leave the same strong feelings that Pokémon Red did all those years ago.

Kevin Knezevic

Like many of my colleagues, I’m also torn between choosing Fennekin and Froakie. It’s been a tradition of mine to pick the Water-type starter whenever I embark on a new Pokémon adventure, and I had all but decided on the bubble frog when Nintendo announced that we’d also get to choose one of the original three starting Pokémon– Bulbasaur, Charmander, or Squirtle (my all-time favorite monster)– in X and Y. Like Andy and Kyle, I couldn’t possibly justify starting off with two Water Pokémon, so I could either uphold my tradition and go with Froakie and Charmander (who, admittedly, has a really cool Mega Evolution in X, the version I’ll be buying), or I could go with my old favorite and choose Fennekin and Squirtle. (I even briefly flirted with the idea of starting my adventure with Chespin, but then Nintendo revealed Quilladin and promptly brought me back to my senses.)


Of course, I do still have a near-perfectly bred Squirtle just sitting in my PC in Pokémon White. I could always transfer that one over to my new game via the Pokémon Bank and not feel guilty about choosing Charmander. That may be just what I’ll do…

What about you? Which starter Pokémon will you choose in X and Y? Cast your vote in our poll, and let us know in the comments!

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